DANVILLE — It's slight, but the city is going for a property-tax decrease next year.
It would be less than a 1 percent drop, or $20,781 less than the $5,986,404 the city levied this year in property taxes.
If aldermen approve the proposed property-tax levy that Mayor Scott Eisenhauer presented at Tuesday night's meeting, it would be the fourth consecutive year the city has asked for less tax money from city property owners.
However, city officials also anticipate the equalized assessed value of all property in the city will decrease again next year. It would be the fifth consecutive year and would mean that while the city is asking for less property-tax revenue, its property-tax rate would increase from the current $1.99 per $100 of assessed value to $2.06 per $100.
Eisenhauer told aldermen that local officials predict the equalized assessed value will decrease another 3.5 percent next year. He said the value of farmland is increasing, but there's very little of that in the city. And although there's been significant new retail development in the city, he said, with Kohl's, T.J. Maxx and Meijer and others opening this year, it takes more than a year for new construction to affect the local equalized assessed value because of how the property-tax cycle works.
So, although the city is optimistic it will see increased sales-tax revenue — the bulk of its total revenues — and a rise in property values in the future, administration officials are proposing a slight decrease in the property-tax levy for next year to keep the rate as close to $2 per $100 as possible.
According to Tuesday night's proposal, the city will ask for $5,965,623 from property taxpayers next year. That revenue will go toward expenses in just four areas: police pensions, firefighter pensions, the city's bond and interest payments and the Danville public library. All of those annual expenses, except for bond and interest, will be increasing next year.
To offset those rising costs without increasing the property-tax levy, city officials are again proposing to pull money from other city funds to cover about $900,000 of those expenses. That $900,000 will come from the city's general fund, sewer fund, solid-waste fund and capital-improvements fund.