The District 87 School Board approved a plan to raise more than $ 45 million in tax at Wednesday night’s meeting. The levy provides about 60% of the district’s income.
Compared to the 2020 extension, the proposed tax levy for 2021 reflects an increase of 4.26%.
CFO and Facilities Director Michael Cornale presented the Tax Levy Plan to the Board of Directors. He explained that the property tax priorities included paying off all unpaid debts and projecting the budget for fiscal year 2023, among others.
“So as we work on the 2021 tax levy, our main focus was to try to keep our property tax rate as low as possible,” Cornale said.
He explained that the proposed tax rate assumes an estimated Equalized Evaluated Assessment Rate (AVE) of 3% growth in District 87 and a tax rate of $ 5.17 per $ 100 of AVE. .
Superintendent Barry Reilly said the growth of the AVE reflects a positive impact on the local economy.
“Now I’m really encouraged that we’re seeing a more than 2% increase in AVE. It’s good news. We really haven’t had this for a little while. And I think you can look through the community and see some of the things that are happening. Law? It’s exciting for businesses, and they don’t even necessarily have to be within our district boundaries, ”said Reilly.
The district actually estimates AVE growth of 2.34%, but as this percentage can change, officials estimate 3% in the case of new growth and not to lose funds. The AVE can only be certified at the end of the year, which leads to a slight overestimation to take into account possible growth.
If the tax levy is passed, the owner of a $ 150,000 home would pay approximately $ 2,600 to the district.
Reilly said this means the average homeowner can expect the District 87 portion of their tax bill to remain very similar to what it was last year.
“The good news is that the tax rate should stay the same. Therefore, the homeowner, assuming the value of their home does not increase, can expect the same cost against the District 87 portion of their tax bill, ”Reilly said.
District 87 continues to have the lowest tax rate, $ 5.17, among school districts in the region. Other districts include Lexington, the highest in the region, at $ 5.74, and Unit 5, in the middle, at $ 5.65.
“We are therefore proud to keep this number relatively stable. We’ve been doing it for probably the last six years or so. And having a stable tax rate really helps our families and other members of the community, ”said Reilly.
A public hearing for the levy is scheduled for the December board meeting.
Also on Wednesday, the board of directors approved an offer to upgrade the video surveillance system through an offer from Seico, Inc. Cornale advised a traditional approach instead of the cloud-based solution. He told council it was the best long-term decision due to continued licensing expense.
“We have a camera system and it’s 20 years old now. We haven’t really invested a lot of money in it. I would love to see a camera system last for 20 years again without having to constantly invest a lot of money in it, whether that is an annual license fee of around $ 70,000 with this IP solution, versus setting up. equipment. , and it continues to work, ”said Cornale.
The council also heard from about six community members voice their concerns about the mask and vaccine warrants. They encouraged the council to work with the public and parents and to oppose state mandates.