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Education

Elmhurst District 205 board passes 2017 tax levy increase

Chris Whelton (far left), assistant superintendent for finance and operations, presents on the 2017 tax levy at the Dec. 12 Elmhurst Community Unit School District 205 Board of Education meeting.
Chris Whelton (far left), assistant superintendent for finance and operations, presents on the 2017 tax levy at the Dec. 12 Elmhurst Community Unit School District 205 Board of Education meeting.

ELMHURST – The Elmhurst Community Unit School District 205 Board of Education unanimously approved an increase for the 2017 tax levy Dec. 12 following a public hearing and presentation by Christopher Whelton, assistant superintendent for finance and operations.

The 2017 tax levy is based on a proposed increase over the 2016 tax extension of 4.9 percent, or $4.9 million, without including the Bond and Interest Fund, which will generate a levy increase of roughly $248,000 more than last year’s extension, according to the school board agenda. The total increase in the levy for all funds will be 4.58 percent or $5.1 million, the agenda stated.

The total property taxes extended for 2016 were about $112.3 million. The estimated total property taxes to be levied for 2017 are about $117.4 million.

"At this time, we don't know what EAV [equalized assessed value] is going to increase, and we don't know what the new construction is going to increase, so at this time, we used an estimate of a 7-percent increase in the EAV, but the EAV increase really just impacts the tax rate," Whelton said. "But the new construction does impact the amount of taxes that the district receives because new construction is outside of the tax cap."

According to state law, school district operating taxes are limited to an increase of the lesser of 5 percent or the CPI, which is 2.1 percent this year, along with the taxes on any new property coming onto the tax rolls.

"The actual levy is higher than what we expect to collect to make sure that we capture all new growth, but we can only collect what's legally allowed by law," Superintendent David Moyer said.

The levy includes an additional $25 million in case more new construction comes in than anticipated, Whelton said. Also, there is new construction finishing up in tax increment financing district 2, which is near Church Road and Lake Street, and the EAV is estimated to be $7 million, he said.

"Over the past five years, the actual extension increase has averaged about 1.1 percent less than what the levy increase is. That's because we do levy for the unknown new construction EAV, just in case it comes in more than anticipated," Whelton said. "As far as a $300,000 house, the increase – if it has no new construction and is just existing EAV – that would be a 2.2-percent increase or $105.18."

The final equalized assessed value and tax extensions will come out in April 2018, according to the school board agenda. Tax collections will be in June and December 2018, Whelton said.

Eighty-nine percent of the district's revenue comes from local revenue, according to a Dec. 3 memo on Moyer's district blog, which is at superchat205.blogspot.com.

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