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Prairie Grove Reduces Tax Levy

posted Dec 4, 2012, 11:39 AM by asearle@dist46.org   [ updated Aug 13, 2013, 4:40 PM by Web Master ]

2012 Tax Levy Decrease

The School Board approved a resolution estimating that the total levy for 2012 will be reduced by $52,308, or .52%.  The Board expects to approve this levy amount at its December 11, 2012 regular meeting.  As a taxpayer it is important for you to know that Prairie Grove School District 46 is decreasing, not increasing property taxes.

Unfortunately, there has been concern regarding the notice in the November 30, 2012 Northwest Herald.  The notice was titled “Notice of Proposed Property Tax Increase for Prairie Grove School District 46”.  The format of this notice is strictly prescribed by law, even down to the dimensions of the black box surrounding the notice.  According to the law, taxing bodies must conduct a “Truth in Taxation” hearing if they estimate that the levy will increase 5% or more than the previous year.  In point of fact, the district levy will be well below that 5% threshold.  However, the School Board wanted to conduct the hearing anyway in order to give the community a chance for input regarding the levy.

In order to understand the information in the notice we have provided a copy of the published notice and our explanation of each section.

Section 1 simply announces the date, time and location of the hearing.  The purpose of the hearing is for public input.  As mentioned above, the Board wanted to give the community this opportunity, even though it was not required by law.

Section 2 provides the detail on the proposed “corporate and special purpose property taxes”.  In other words, this is the tax levy for all purposes other than paying the district’s bonds.  These tax dollars pay for the bulk of the cost of all salaries, benefits, supplies, contractual services, and capital needs.  As you can see, this levy is actually a decrease from the previous year.  Tax decreases are extremely unusual.  The Prairie Grove School Board though has committed to a three-year tax decrease plan (this is the second year of the plan).  While this decrease is $52,308 less than last year, it is actually estimated to be $710,874 less than it could have been had the Board asked for what it was legally allowed to in the 2011 and 2012 tax levies.

Section 3 provides information on the debt service levy.  This section is split out because debt service on bonds is a separate and distinct levy that is set in place by law when the bonds are sold.  The School Board has no control over whether this amount gets levied.  However, in a separate Board action they may abate part or all of this levy.  The Board has completely abated this levy since 2006 as part of the Taxpayer Partnership Plan.  The Board plans to abate the full amount of this levy at its regular February meeting.  As you can see in this section, the 2011 levy for debt service was $0.00.  That will be the same for 2012 after the Board passes a resolution to abate it in February.  The debt service still has to be paid, but it is paid through operating funds, not a separate levy.

Section 4 gives the total amount of sections 2 & 3.  Again, what will actually get levied is the amount in section 2 only.

The tax hearing is scheduled first on the agenda at the December 11 School Board Meeting.  As always, the Board welcomes public input.


The following is the notice as it was published in the Northwest Herald on November 30, 2012.

 

 

NOTICE OF PROPOSED PROPERTY TAX INCREASE FOR

PRAIRIE GROVE SCHOOL DISTRICT NO. 46

 

 

I.       A public hearing to approve a proposed property tax increase for Prairie Grove School District No. 46 for 2012 will be held on December 11, 2012 at 7:00 p.m. at Prairie Grove Junior High School, 3223 IL Route 176, Crystal Lake, Illinois, 60014.

Any person desiring to appear at the public hearing and present testimony to the taxing district may contact Dr. Lynette Zimmer, Superintendent, (telephone 815/459-3023).

II.       The corporate and special purpose property taxes extended or abated for the year 2011 were $10,019,082.45.

The proposed corporate and special purpose property taxes to be levied for 2012 are $9,966,774.  This represents a .52% decrease over the previous year.

III.      The property taxes extended for debt service and public building commission leases for 2011 were $0.00.

The estimated property taxes to be levied for debt service and public building commission leases for 2012 are $375,672.50.  This represents a 375,672.50% increase over the previous year.

IV.      The total property taxes extended or abated for 2011 were $10,019,082.45.

The estimated total property taxes to be levied for 2012 are $10,342,446.50.  This represents a 3.23 % increase over the previous year.

 

(NOTE:  THIS MUST BE IN AT LEAST 12 POINT TYPE, THE BLACK BORDER MUST BE NOT LESS THAN 1/4 INCH WIDE, AND THIS NOTICE MUST BE 1/8 PAGE IN SIZE.


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