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Fox River Grove School District 3 lowers property tax levy

District likely to abate $150,000

FOX RIVER GROVE – Taxpayers in Fox River Grove School District 3 can expect to pay less on average in property taxes to the district next year.

The district is projecting that the owner of a $200,000 home can expect to pay about $86 less in property taxes on District 3’s portion of the tax bill in 2018.

“The board wants to be responsible and respectful to taxpayers,” District 3 Superintendent Tim Mahaffy said about negotiations, as taxpayers throughout the area are faced with rising property taxes.

The estimated tax rate for District 3 in 2017 will be 5.68 per $100 of assessed value, down from 5.8 in 2016. The district is projecting a final levy extension of $5,299,201, a drop from the 2016 actual extension of $5,331,476. 

However, the tax rate won’t be set until the spring, when property values and values of new construction are finalized. The tax bills paid in 2018 are based on 2017 levies.

The district again is getting an assist from a $150,000 debt service abatement, with pending approval to come in January. Over the past five years, District 3 has returned $650,000 through annual tax abatements to taxpayers, with the planned $150,000 abatement to be approved in January, according to the district.

Abatement makes taxing districts use cash reserves to pay debt.

The district is looking to capture the maximum amount allowed through a 2.1 percent increase in the consumer price index. Equalized assessed value in the district boundaries is predicted to rise 7.1 percent.

Abating property taxes after increasing the levy by the maximum amount permitted under law allows the district to increase its levy in future years without the lost revenue being compounded in subsequent years by limiting the tax rate.

Mahaffy pointed to a great relationship between district decision makers and staff as a primary factor in being able to reduce the tax levy.

“I think the board and our district employees – both our educational staff and teachers union – work really well together,” he said.

The district’s auditors confirmed that they are in sound financial shape to abate money from the levy for five straight years.

The district has come a long way from borrowing money a few years ago to pay salaries, Mahaffy said.

The board approved the 2017 tax levy Dec. 11.

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