DANVILLE — A projected 9 percent decrease in projected equalized assessed valuation on properties for 2012 means city officials will have to cut $1.5 million in expenses to keep the property tax rate around $2 per $100 equalized assessed valuation.
“It will mean cuts in personnel and cuts in services, perhaps,” Mayor Scott Eisenhauer said.
Vermilion County Supervisor of Assessments Matt Long and Eisenhauer gave the bleak news to the city council’s Public Services Committee Wednesday night.
Long said the numbers are still being figured, with farmland seeing increases in value, but residential and commercial seeing decreases. He said big industrial buildings, such as in the Eastgate area, are sitting empty and “need to get filled sooner than later.”
Bunge also has dismantled a few of its buildings, which is affecting the assessed value, Long said.
Eisenhauer said the city saw a 6 percent equalized assessed valuation decrease last year, from $342 million in 2010 to $321 million in 2011. But due to abatements, the city’s $1.97 per $100 equalized assessed valuation property tax rate stayed about the same.
If the 9 percent decrease holds true, the city will go back to numbers it hasn’t seen since 2000-2001 when the equalized assessed valuation was $300 million or less.
If the city was to make no cuts or not increase its abatements, the city’s property tax rate would increase to $2.24 per $100 equalized assessed valuation.
“That is absolutely unacceptable,” Eisenhauer said.
“In order for us to focus back on a reasonable and acceptable tax levy rate, I think we need to be around that $2 mark,” he added.
Aldermen will have a tax levy study session at 6 p.m. Tuesday at city hall.
“We have a lot of work ahead of us,” Eisenhauer told the aldermen. He said everything is on the table, except to keep some reserve funding.
City Comptroller Gayle Lewis said the city is about $400,000 ahead in revenues so far this fiscal year.