Danville City Council voted unanimously Thursday night to hold the city’s tax on real estate at the current rate of 73 cents for every $100 in value. At 73 cents, the tax rate is the fifth lowest rate among all cities in Virginia.
However, homeowners and other property owners still could see changes in their tax bills because the city is reassessing the value of all properties this year in Danville. This process takes place every two years, and as a result, property values may rise or fall.
Current data indicates property values will increase on average by 1.7 percent. At that percentage, property currently assessed at $100,000, for example, would be reassessed at $101,700 effective July 1, and the tax bill would increase from $730 to $742.41 annually, an increase of $12.41 annually or $6.21 per installment.
The estimated increase is an overall average, and individual properties may increase at a greater or lesser percentage, or decrease. Two years ago, property values on average declined, and the real estate assessment realized a net 1.1 percent decrease in revenue generated.
If the current data holds true, then the reassessment together with new construction is anticipated to generate an additional $300,000 in real estate revenue for the next fiscal year, which begins July 1 and ends on June 30, 2015.
In other matters, council members:
» voted 6-2 to approve the budget for Danville Public Schools. The school budget provides for a 2.84 percent increase in spending for instruction, administration, pupil transportation, operation and maintenance, facilities, and technology. The city’s share of those costs again will be $18.7 million. The school system did not seek an increase in financial support from the city.
» held a public hearing on the proposed budgets for various funds in the next fiscal year and the proposed list of capital improvements. No citizens commented during the hearing. As required, Council will have to wait until its next meeting on May 20 to cast a final vote on these budgets and capital improvements.
» voted to submit a one-year action plan to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
» voted to authorize the Danville Redevelopment and Housing Authority to create two independent corporations for the Upper Street Housing Project.
» tabled a vote on amending city policies on cost-of-living adjustments for city retirees.
» voted on first reading to accept $55,220 from the Danville-Pittsylvania Community Services Board for parks and recreation programs to serve citizens that are intellectually challenged. This money is a continuation of funding, which the city receives each year. A second and final vote will be cast at council’s May 20 meeting.
» voted on first read to accept two grants totaling $60,761 for repairs and upgrades to the Danville and Pittsylvania County Regional Fire Training Center. This vote is a first reading. A second and final vote will be cast at council’s May 20 meeting.
These votes took place during City Council’s business session, which was held in the City Council Chambers on the fourth floor of the Municipal Building located at 427 Patton St.
Following the business session, council reconvened in a work session for less formal discussions. Work sessions are conducted in the fourth floor conference room of the Municipal Building.
In the work session, City Council:
» heard a presentation on Danville Community College on a proposed expansion of its advanced manufacturing training program. The expansion would create a training lab and dual enrollment program at George Washington High School that would be similar to one in place in Pittsylvania County. The program would be in place by the fall of 2015. College officials will present more details later.
» carried forward to its May 20 business session a request from the Danville Museum of Fine Arts and History Board that the City accept the donation of 126 Sutherlin Ave. and amend the current lease agreement to lease the property back to the museum. The property is a two-story, 3,762 square-foot house built around 1903. The museum is currently using it for research and office purposes and may use it for museum exhibits in the future.
» discussed if reserve funds could be used to prevent further increases in the power cost adjustment for electric service. Further discussion will be held at its May 20 meeting.
» convened a session closed to the public to discuss a prospective business or industry related to economic development. State law allows closed meetings for specified economic development matters.