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School District 3 Board approves tentative tax levy

Fox River Grove School District 3 superintendent Dr. Tim Mahaffy poses Nov. 19, 2013, for a portrait at Fox River Grove Middle School in Fox River Grove.
Fox River Grove School District 3 superintendent Dr. Tim Mahaffy poses Nov. 19, 2013, for a portrait at Fox River Grove Middle School in Fox River Grove.

Fox River Grove School District 3 is asking for a $5.976 million property tax levy extension this year.

Last year’s extension that the district asked for was $5.922 million.

“It’s not much higher,” Superintendent Tim Mahaffy said.

Because District 3 falls under the Property Tax Extension Law Limit, their extensions are limited to an increase of 5% or the Consumer Price Index, whichever is lower. This year’s CPI is 1.9%.

Mahaffy said the district believes it will get $5,695,680 with the CPI and PTELL.

The amount the district received last year was $5.5 million.

Mahaffy said the district asks for more than they expect to get so they don’t lose out on the minimum payment they are entitled to.

The money the district gets from property taxes would go to each fund in the district’s budget equitably, he said.

The district’s estimated cost for new construction for 2019 is $400,000.

There isn’t any money from this going directly to construction, Mahaffy said, but what the district plans on doing is transferring $400,000 from its education fund into its capital projects funds to finish its projects.

Districts only have to do a public hearing if their property tax levy extension is a 5% or higher increase from the previous year’s, according to the Truth in Taxation Law. Because of this, District 3 will not have a public hearing on their levy. Mahaffy said the district has not had to have one for 10 or 15 years.

Mahaffy said the district plans on abating $309,313 as part of a property tax relief grant from the state they plan on applying for.

As part of this grant, if school district abates taxes for two years, they could receive grant money from the state. Mahaffy said the school would get about $209,540 from this grant.

This would amount to a net revenue loss of $99,773 for the district. However, Mahaffy said they already had a planned abatement of $128,000 from bond and interest. With the grant, districts can’t abate out of bond and interest as they have done in the past, so this year, the district will be abating the $309,000 out of the education fund.

“Even if we abate the [$309,000] and receive the grant award of [$209,000] in the same fiscal year, based upon what we were going to abate, we’re going to be $28,000 ahead,” Mahaffy said.

The board will vote to officially adopt the levy extension at its next meeting in December.

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