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Latest tax levy amount presented to U-46 board

By Seth Hancock
  School District U-46 is proposing a 3 percent increase in its 2018 property tax levy which was presented to the Board of Education on Monday, Oct. 15.
  Both the determination of the levy as well as a resolution regarding the levy will be voted on at the Monday, Nov. 5 meeting.
  The actual 2017 levy was $271.6 million with the proposed 2018 levy $279.8 million, an $8.2 million increase. That is a defensive levy as the district expects a $6.8 million increase, or $278.4 million total for a 2.5 percent increase.
  Including an additional $42.2 million for debt service and public building commission leases, the total property tax levy extension in 2018 would be $322 million which is 2.2 percent higher than $315 million in 2017.
  Dale Burnidge, director of financial operations, said: “To determine the amount of the 2018 tax levy, we need to estimate the 2018 Equalized Assessed Valuation (EAV) which includes the amount of new construction and the change in the (EAVs) for properties in the district. The levy amount is then increased by the Consumer Price Index (CPI), which is 2.1 percent, to give us our 2018 expected extension.”
  The proposed 2018 EAV increase is $5.1 million, up from $4.7 million in 2017, and U-46 expects the actual 2018 EAV to increase by $4.9 million.
  The defensive levy is to extract the maximum amount of tax dollars from taxpayers as possible which the district claims it is “entitled” to according to the determination of the levy proposal.
  The proposal states: “EAV is not known until approximately April for Kane and DuPage Counties and July for Cook. Since levies are filed by the last Tuesday in December of the previous year, it is still necessary to defensive levy to insure receipt of all property tax dollars to which the District is entitled.”
  U-46 CEO Tony Sanders added: “When this gets to the counties, they always adjust us back down to reflect the actual CPI that comes in after we’ve already done this process. You always try to protect yourself by going a little bit above, and then they adjust it back down on our behalf.”
  Board member Sue Kerr asked about the district’s plan to abate.
  “We’ll also be bringing forward in November the intent to abate resolution, and we would be abating the new growth for this year, which was about $5.6 million, and adding that to the $3.9 million that we abated last year,” Burnidge said. “The total abatement will be around $9.6 million.”
  Burnidge added: “The effect on that will be for current taxpayers, it should keep their tax bills flat. They really shouldn’t see an increase all other things being equal.”
  The abatement effectively means the district will be kicking the tax increases down the road for higher property taxes for future property owners in the district as board member Jeanette Ward replied: “But the idea of it is to preserve increases into the future so that we’re not penalized by the state for keeping it flat. So in effect we’re keeping it flat, but we’re preserving the increase for the future.”
  Burnidge said “that’s correct.”



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