Danville keeps property tax revenues flat

Published 8:44 pm Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Due to the City of Danville choosing not to take a tax hike and instead taking the compensating rate for its ad valorem tax, the rates for taxes on real property went up slightly, and personal property will go down. The new rates were finalized during Monday night’s city commission meeting, with a unanimous vote to approve.

Real property was set at 14.3 cents per $100 assessed last year; it will be 14.4 cents this year. Michele Gosser, the city’s CFO, said that will result in a $1 increase in city property taxes on a house valued at $100,000.

Personal property went from 18.4 to 17 cents per $100 of value this year. Most people do not pay any personal property taxes, which are levied on things such as business equipment.

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Due to KRS 132, the city is required to annually levy the ad valorem tax rate, which produces revenue “approximately equal to that produced in the preceding year,” Gosser said.

The city has the opportunity to levy up to a 4% tax increase beyond the compensating tax rate, which would not be subject to a recall vote by citizens.

Gosser presented a worksheet which indicated what the compensating rate versus a 4% increase would result in. Using the compensating rate, estimated revenues projected for 2019 for real property will be $1,477,787; for personal property, $255,892. If the city had chosen the 4% increase, estimated revenue for real property would have been $1,539,362; and personal property revenue would have been $269,439.

The rates are calculated using the Property Valuation Administrator’s 2019 taxable assessments.

The motor vehicle tax rate will remain the same, at 20 cents per $100 of value.

In other business

City Manager Ron Scott said he has begun the process of getting recommendations together for the city commission regarding the Danville-Boyle County Parks & Recreation ordinance that was returned from Boyle County Fiscal Court.

The city wants to share responsibility on some level for all city and county parks, which would allow Parks & Rec to enter the smaller, neighborhood parks in the city to create programming. Most of the Boyle magistrates say the county should only financially support Millennium Park, because it’s always been done that way, and say they can’t stand behind any tax increase to support parks many out in the county don’t use.

However, some have pointed out that there has been no research on exactly what it would cost to have a truly “shared system” — which both city and county ordinance drafts state as a goal. Monday, Scott said he would like to take the opportunity to talk to Parks & Rec Director John Bell and others.

“Before our next city commission meeting, I will have recommendations for you on the ordinance proposed by the county.”

Commissioner Kevin Caudill asked, “What sort of timeline do you hope for, as far as Parks & Rec? And all that, coming to some sort of volley on our side, or whatever we’re doing right now.”

Scott said, “Good question. If memory serves, we’ve been debating, or discussing, this general approach issue for a year and a half, going on two, maybe longer than that if you dig into the issues of funding and organization.”

He said there will have to be a conclusion between “now and funding of next year’s budget.”

“So, how quickly both sides can agree to that, I don’t know, but in reality, we’re both going to speak with our budget, in terms of how we’re going to fund and how we’re going to operate.”

Scott said he would prefer to have “closure before my exit plans before the end of the year,” when he retires. “Whether we accomplish that or not, I don’t know.”

Commissioner Rick Serres commended Director Bell and the Parks & Rec Board for the statement it forwarded last week to city and county officials, offering the opinion that the Parks & Rec agency should be a county- and city-wide function, with the ability to program within any and all parks, offering a fair share of events to all citizens, not just at Millennium.

“I commend them and their director on the statement on how they feel Parks & Rec should be in this county and city,” Serres said. “Probably a year ago, the Parks & Rec Board — they felt like they weren’t worth anything, and now I think you have some worth. And I appreciate you all making a statement on that.”

Mayor Mike Perros gave out kudos for the excellent job done at the Lexington Avenue Park’s new splash pad. The new water feature opened up last week, located on the grounds of the Coldiron-Watkins Water Treatment Plant.

“… again, thanks to staff — and that’s a deep bench, when it comes to talking about the water park … I know it was a little bit of a time coming, but the expression on the kids and the sound of the kids (he witnessed on Friday, opening day) — and I understand that continued over the weekend,” Perros said. “Worth every bit of it, and that’s the kind of thing we provide at the city. I think it will be a focal point going forward. So kudos to Public Works folks for getting all that done.”

Also, the city commission:

• Unanimously voted to accept a change order on the payment to JAVE, LLC for the construction of the South Second Street bridge replacement, which originally had a total of $360,000. An additional amount of $3,800 was added to cover the company’s work done on the splash pad at the Lexington Avenue Park, to pour three separate concrete pads.

• Approved a yearly traffic safety grant administered by the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet’s Office of Highway Safety, in the amount of $28,200. Police Chief Tony Gray said the yearly grant pays for overtime, fuel costs, etc. The grant outlines goals for traffic-related services, including officers getting paid through the grant must log so many contacts, as part of campaigns such as Click it or Ticket, Speed Weeks and Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over.

• Reminded the public about the end of summer family celebration being held Sunday, Aug. 31, at Pioneer Playhouse. The event is organized by Citizens Concerned for Human Relations, the Danville City Commission and the Boyle County Fiscal Court. The event begins at 5 p.m., rain or shine. “The theme for the potluck is ‘unity,’” said Commissioner J.H. Atkins. “And we have some very interesting live entertainment for this Sunday afternoon.”

A meat, drink and utensils will be provided; those attending are asked to bring a dish to share. For more information, call (859) 236-5818.