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District 157 considers tax abatement

RICHMOND – District 157’s school board is set to lower its property taxes – at least for the coming year.

The board, which oversees the one-school district, discussed an $800,000 abatement on its bond and interest levy Wednesday. The district would use its reserves to make its debt payments, said board member Joe Busch, who sits on the finance committee.

While the proposed levy takes the full increase allowed under the tax cap, the abatement would offset that increase and even lower property taxes, Superintendent Dan Oest said.

The one-year, $800,000 abatement translates to $143 less in property taxes on a house valued at $200,000, Oest said.

Taxpayers actually would not see all of that in savings, though, because of the levy increase.

This is a different approach than other area taxing bodies have taken to address board members’ concern about raising property taxes while the economy remains weak.

The village of Spring Grove, for example, plans to keep its levy level.

Addressing the amount of individuals’ taxes through an abatement, as opposed to just not raising the levy, is of long-term benefit to a taxing body.

Increases in annual levies are based on the previous levy and capped at certain percentage based on the Consumer Price Index.

So, because Richmond-Burton raised its levy this year – even though it offset the increase to individuals through an abatement – it will have a larger starting figure on which to base future calculations.

By comparison, Spring Grove, which this year kept its levy the same as last year, will start with that lower figure, when it sets its next levy.

Richmond-Burton’s levy and the abatement will be voted on by the board at its Dec. 19 meeting.

The proposed levy is available for download at the district’s website, rbchs.com, by going to the Nov. 14 meeting back on the BoardBook page.

Nippersink District 2, which covers the same area as District 157, also will consider its own levy ahead of the December deadlines.

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