Local

Harvard School District 50 levy amount increases, tax rate decreases

The Harvard School District 50 Board approved a 2018 property tax levy about $444,000 higher than last year, but its tax rate will be slightly lower.

During the Nov. 19 board meeting, officials approved a levy of about
$14.3 million.

District 50 chief financial officer Mike Prombo said the certificate of levy already has been submitted to McHenry and Boone counties.

But according to a presentation made by Prombo during the Nov. 19 meeting, the district’s equalized assessed value is expected to increase by about 10 percent, while the consumer price index also is increasing by 2.1 percent, thereby decreasing District 50’s tax rate from $7.01 per $100 in assessed value to $6.59.

“Our tax rate is fairly low, and we’re doing our best with the money we have,” Prombo said.

Prombo added that the district has a pretty good mix of local effort and state help, which has done a lot for schools despite the district’s low student adequacy target.

“This shows that people have done pretty good things with the money they have,” Prombo said.

Like most school districts, District 50 will apply for a portion of the $50 million in property tax relief grant funding made possible through the new evidence-based funding formula.

These grants try to aid districts with higher tax rates by using state dollars to compensate for foregone tax revenue. Under evidence-based formula calculations, District 50 is eligible for about
$2.1 million.

However, Prombo said, with the district ranked 167th out of the 851 eligible districts, it is unlikely it will receive funding. If every district ranked ahead of Harvard received the maximum amount of tax relief it was eligible for, it would amount to more than $573 million.

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