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D180 Passes Tax Levy

District seeks 4.95 percent increase, but superintendent says the district will likely not receive that much.

The School Board passed a new tax levy of $7,199,699 -- a 4.95 percent increase during their November meeting.

However, Superintendent Tom Schneider said it’s unlikely the levy amount will be approved by the county due to the lack of revenue growth in the area.

The district is subject to a tax cap of 5 percent or the cost of living, whichever is lower. This year the state-imposed tax cap has been set at 1.5 percent. District staff said the amount they likely receive will be close to the 1.5 percent mark. However, Schneider said the district asks for more than it’s likely to receive in order to take advantage of any sudden construction booms that might increase amount of property tax collected.

“We have to be sure the district receives the appropriate amount from any new development, but I don’t foresee anything like that happening this year,” Schneider said.

Under Illinois' tax cycle, school districts and other taxing bodies must adopt their levies, calling for a specific dollar amount of property taxes, before the final numbers for the equalized assessed value of existing property and new construction have been determined. Because of that, and because of Illinois' tax cap law, the amount a taxing body asks for in its levy is usually not the same as the amount of property tax dollars it receives.

District staff estimated the district’s equalized assessed value (EAV) for 2011 will increase .54 percent from $334 million in 2010 to $336 million in 2011.  District staff said their less than 1 percent projection is optimistic in light of Hinsdale High School’s projection of a -5 percent growth in EAV.

Because the district is not proposing a levy increase of 5 percent or more, the district will not have to hold a public hearing on the levy as required under the “Truth in Taxation” law.   

Mike Sandrolini November 24, 2011 at 02:59 PM
Alex does a great job of explaining the process of how school districts adopt their levies. Certainly, a lot of factors are involved. This question has probably been raised before, but I'll throw it out there again for discussion's sake: Is there a better way to fund Illinois schools than the current system? If so, what would you suggest?

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