Danville board lowers tax rate

Published 9:33 pm Tuesday, August 29, 2017

The Danville Board of Education is lowering taxes on real estate owners in the city to 94.5 cents per $100, down from last year’s rate of 95.5 cents per $100.

“We have, I think, one of the most unique opportunities that you’ll find statewide,” said Keith Look, superintendent of Danville Schools, at Danville High School on Monday night as he introduced the rate to the board. “We are actually giving taxpayers of Danville a decrease in the tax rate.”

The rate would mean real estate property owners of a $100,000 house would be paying $945 compared to last year’s rate of $955. The tangible rate would stay the same, 95.5 cents per $100, for the 2017 year, said Paul Dean, director of finance for the district. The rate taken is the compensating rate, Look said, which means that the board will still receive the same amount in revenue.

Email newsletter signup

“Rarely does anybody take a tax cut. This board has the opportunity to do so. We feel like we can do this and continue to increase services to our schools and to our students just as we have done the past year,” he said.

Look pointed out that it was important to let taxpayers know they might not be able to repeat that decrease next year, but it was great to be able to do it for the 2017 rates.

“To seize that opportunity and give back to so many folks that make this district what it is, is a unique and special opportunity for this district,” he said.

Board member Steve Becker agreed.

“I’ve got to thank this board, Dr. Look and Paul (Dean) and all of those involved,” Becker said. “The fiscal management of our school district is top-notch. It’s in great shape, for this board to be able to commit over a half million back into the schools; 73 percent of all our monies go to the schools. It’s a tremendous thing that’s going on. We are healthy, we are viable. We’ve got great staff. Things are really looking up.”

He thanked Look for his direction and leadership of the district.

“I can go home and feel so good about what we are able to accomplish in the district and have been. Our future’s so bright — it’s been bright,” Becker said. “It’s fantastic to be able to report this.”

He made the first motion to approve the rate, which quickly received a second before being passed.

The board also transferred $252,306.84 into the facilities fund to bring that up to $1 million.

“With our healthy financial status and the way we have been able to put more into schools, we have also been able to put more into facilities,” said Look. “We are looking to create a pool of $1 million to do facility work.”

That work includes replacing the upper bleachers at Danville High School, repairing the columns at Toliver Elementary School, updating the electricity at the football field, along with the signage, concession stand and bathrooms. The board approved all of the projects.

Look told the board if it looked as if one project was going to require more money than they had estimated, they would return to the board to get their recommendation on how to continue.