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D-12 approves ‘balloon levy’

JOHNSBURG – Taxpayers in the Johnsburg School District 12 can expect to pay 3 percent more in property taxes.

The school board unanimously approved a levy for just under $20 million, an 18 percent increase over what it received last year, Superintendent Dan Johnson said.

District 12 won’t collect all of that increase, though, because of a tax cap enacted in 1991 that ties levy increases to the rate of inflation plus growth. To collect more, voters would have to approve a referendum.

A “balloon levy,” like the one passed in Johnsburg, is designed to make sure the district captures revenue from all growth – both new construction and improvements.

The district really expects to collect only 3 to 4 percent more than what it did last year, Johnson said.

Most of that will come from current taxpayers because the district doesn’t expect much growth, he said. The tax cap this year is set at 3 percent.

Taxpayers also can expect the district to continue paying down its debt with its revenue stream.

To get a loan to buy the northern part of its property, the district had to levy enough to cover its annual payments.

It promised residents, however, that their property taxes wouldn’t go up because of the purchase, Johnson said, and so far, they haven’t.

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