Crystal Lake School District 47 approves property tax levy increase

CRYSTAL LAKE – Crystal Lake Elementary School District 47 Board members approved a tax levy increase Monday, but the effect it will have on homeowners is not yet known.

The district will levy $76,122,326 – 
a 4.12 percent increase from the 2016 levy.

Homeowners are not projected to see an increase on their tax bills. The district estimates that it will tax
$8 million in new property, and individual rates also depend on changes to their equalized assessed values, which aren’t set until the spring, according to district documents.

Residents are expected to see a 6-cent tax rate decrease per $100 of the EAV, according to the district.

District 47 joins Community High School District 155 in an increased levy request. District 155 approved a request in November that amounts to an increase that’s less than 1 percent.

District 47 also approved plans for a $1 million tax abatement Monday, which could drop the net increase over last year from 4.12 percent to 2.75 percent. The district approved abatements in 2015 and 2016, as well, which means the district used either its operating funds or cash reserves to make debt payments instead of relying on new tax dollars, according to the district.

New revenue is intended to go toward projects associated with the district’s five-year capital improvement plan.

Major projects are planned across the 12 schools in the district, including life-safety updates such as structural repairs and replacement of roofs; doors and windows; and upgrades to electrical, plumbing and heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems, according to the district.

No one spoke about the tax levy at the public hearing, which was held before the vote, and the matter was approved with little discussion. Some board members said they haven’t heard much from the public about the increase.

Board member Ryan Farrell said that although he doesn’t like to request more money, he is proud of the way the district uses its funding.

“We are trying to be as good stewards as possible with taxpayer money,” Farrell said. “We take these votes seriously. My own tax bill is very high. I get it, but I think that if we look at what we are providing with that money, we are doing a great job.”

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