Danville commission approves first reading of property tax rates

Published 4:41 pm Monday, August 16, 2021

City to revise ordinance for intent to annex, postpones second reading

The Danville City Commission has with a 4-0 vote approved a first reading of its property tax rates ordinance. These rates are updated annually.

Compared to 2020’s rates, proposed rates for the 2021-2022 fiscal year for real property are slightly lower, and rates for personal property are higher.

According to an agenda request form submitted by City Manager Earl Coffey at the city commission meeting Aug. 9, for 2020 the rates were $0.14 per $100 for real property and $0.1562 per $100 for personal property. Proposed rates for FY 2021-2022 are $0.138 for real property and $0.1902 for personal property, according to the ordinance.

“During the budget development process staff recommended at the time adopting the ‘Compensating Rate’ for the proposed budget because of economic conditions surrounding recovery from COVID impact,” the form reads.

During the meeting, Mayor Mike Perros explained for the public, “This is called the compensating rate. It’s something that’s done every year in order to keep the same revenues from the previous year coming to the city.”

Under budgeting and financial impact, the agenda request form reads that with the compensating rate, “the new growth is excluded and provides a slight increase in revenue. New growth has been certified as $12,180,500 which yields an additional $16,809.”

There is an additional increase of $4,560 in motor vehicle and watercraft taxes, and “The result of implementing the Compensating Rate is an increase of $25,892 in revenue for the Ad Valorem tax rates or a projected grand total of $1,819,521.”

This is compared to 2020’s $1,793,629.

In other business:

• At the beginning of the meeting, the city commission removed an agenda item to approve the second reading of the ordinance for intent to annex approximately 658 acres of unincorporated territory, between US 127 South and Gose Pike, to extending to the south past KY 1273 (Airport Road). The commission approved the first reading on July 26. Removing the agenda item came at the request of City Attorney Stephen Dexter, who asked that it be given time for review and revision.

During the public comment portion of the meeting, there were several concerns raised including one from legal counsel representing the Danville-Boyle County Airport Board. It was announced the board and its legal counsel had sent the city a letter and memo with objections to the proposed annexation, including that some tracts of land on the proposed map are in Lincoln County.

“One of the purposes in delaying the issue tonight was to revise the map,” Dexter said in response.

Legal counsel for the board urged the commission to withdraw the ordinance as currently written. No such action was taken; however, the city intends to revise the existing ordinance.

• During public comment on Aug. 9, Danville resident Susan Perkins Weston spoke and urged the city commission to take concrete action to encourage citizens to get vaccinated and take other actions in response to the increasing numbers of COVID-19 cases and deaths in Boyle County and statewide.

“If you do nothing, you will be leaders who did nothing in the biggest crisis of the last half-century,” she said.

During a special called city commission meeting on Aug. 12, there was a short COVID-19 safety protocol discussion. Coffey said since Gov. Andy Beshear passed an executive order mandating masks in schools, city staff met to discuss whether to re-institute masks inside City Hall in response to the surge in cases.

He said the city will be developing policy early this week, and city staff will ask the city commission to respond at the upcoming commission meeting on Aug. 23. He said the city will need to decide whether to restrict the number of people allowed in person at city meetings, whether to pass a resolution in response to COVID-19 and other issues.

• During the Aug. 9 meeting, the commission unanimously approved the deed and acceptance of title to Meadow Lane African-American Cemetery, so it will be under the city’s maintenance.

• The commission is having an ongoing discussion about whether to prohibit dogs in city cemeteries. There is a contradiction between a city ordinance that prohibits dogs in cemeteries and cemetery rules and regulations that say pets are allowed in the cemeteries but only if they are on a leash and clean-up regulations are met. However, the city has had issues with animals secreting waste in the cemeteries that has not been cleaned up, so they are considering prohibiting dogs to make rules and regulations consistent with the existing ordinance. However, the city commission has not yet made a decision on how to go forward.