Each year, the district files a tax levy request with the Cook County Clerk for funds that will be applied to the following year’s budget. For 2020, the district is requesting $39,060,000 in property tax revenue. This represents a 4.99% increase over the previous year, according to Chief School Business Official Jessica Donato.
State law restricts school districts from requesting property taxes, known as the tax levy, to be no more than the CPI or 5%, whichever is less, plus new property growth in the district. The state law is commonly referred to as the tax cap law. The CPI, or inflation rate, is a measure of price changes in consumer goods and services set by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The December 2019 CPI of 2.3% is used for the 2020 levy calculation.
Mrs. Donato said the revenues from new developments are the only other source to increase the amount of property tax revenue that the district receives. The district must over-estimate the levy request in order to capture all potential new property growth, which is why the request is always higher than the CPI. The county assessor determines the actual amount paid to the district after all property is assessed. Property taxes provide about 86 percent of the district’s total revenues.
Last year, the tax levy request was $37.4 million but the district actually received $37.2 million because of the tax cap law.
The board will take a final vote of the levy at its Dec. 15 meeting.
Building Improvement Plan Targets Roofs
The Buildings and Grounds Committee presented a ten-year capital improvement plan with specific recommendations for the 2021-22 school year.
The district spent $334,020 in 2020-21, with most of the work completed this past summer, including tuck-pointing and HVAC controls at Meadowbrook, replacement of a walk-in cooler/freezer for the NBJH cafeteria, and a classroom renovation for a new STEM lab at NBJH.
Next year, Greenbriar will require roof repairs, HVAC control upgrades, and new carpeting in the media center. At NBJH, roof repairs and HVAC control upgrades are planned, and minor roof repairs are planned at Westmoor. The total estimated cost of improvements is $431,665. This type of expense is typically drawn from the district’s fund reserves.