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Residents Weigh in on School Board Tax Levy

Residents spoke up about the proposed tax levy increase of 4.03 percent, board will vote on issue at Dec. 6 meeting.

Each year, school boards across Illinois adopt their estimated tax levy that ultimately funds a majority of operating costs for school districts.

At the Tuesday, Nov. 15 school board meeting, a public hearing was held to allow residents to give input on the proposed tax levy.

On Nov. 1, the adopted their estimated tax levy, which is a 4.03 percent increase over last year and represents a total levy amount of $107,774,195.

“My property taxes were $7,000 in 1996. Last year they were $17,300,” said Barrington area resident Lois Shartiag, “That is a 130-percent increase while my home is valued at 9-percent less.”

“I am against this, everyone has to tighten their belts,” Shartiag added.

Board member Richard Burkhart agreed the burden on property owners is substantial, and expressed opposition to the levy increase.

“I am against it as well, many people are asking for and getting (property tax) abatements and the burden falls on the shoulders of those who don’t get those abatements,” Burkhart said.

Although the district is estimating 4.03 percent, the Property Tax Extension Limitation Law (PTELL) does restrict the amount of the tax levy.

PTELL requires the total current levy amount be the lesser of 5 percent or the most recent calendar year's Consumer Price Index (CPI) compared to the previous year’s tax extension.

School districts count on receiving the previous year’s levy amount, with added increases relative to the number of new properties included in the tax base due to new construction.

The total operating revenues for the Barrington 220 school district are budgeted at $122.9 million. The amount coming from property taxes is budgeted at $101.7 million, which represents 83-percent of the school district’s operating funds.  

Property tax revenues for Barrington 220 come from properties in Cook, Kane, Lake and McHenry Counties that fall within the unit school district.

The vote on the levy is scheduled for the Dec. 6 school board meeting.

Once that vote is taken, the next step would be to file the levy with the county clerks by the deadline of Dec. 27.

The breakdown of the 2011 Tax Levy includes $88,379,194 for Education, $10,035,000 for Operations and Maintenance and Transportation for $5,800,000. 

IMRF/Social Security receives $3,000,000 while the Tort Levy amount is $560,000. 

The villages (or portions of) included in the proposed tax levy increase are Tower Lakes, North Barrington, Barrington, Inverness, South Barrington and Hoffman Estates.

Grapefruit Simmons November 16, 2011 at 07:09 PM
Where are the 2011 audited fin'l statments? They are usually available by now. Do we know what is driving this need for an increase? Are expenses up? What are the classes and types of expenses? Is District 220 tightening their belts like everyone else? Maybe now is not the time for SMART boards, state-of-the-art new media/early leaning centers, laptop programs and new football stadiums.

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