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District 302 adopts $42 million operating levy

Published: Wednesday, Oct. 31, 2012 5:30 a.m. CST

SUGAR GROVE – The Kaneland School District 302 board on Monday adopted an operating levy of $42,004,470.

Despite the amount requested, the district expects to receive about $40,324,757. Based on that, according to school district documents, the 2012 approximate tax bill for an owner of a $200,000 home potentially would be $4,443, which is an increase of $469 from last year.

An owner of a $300,000 home would have a bill of $6,664, up $702 from last year. And the owner of a $400,000 home would have a bill of $8,885, which is $936 higher than last year.

The amount can, in part, be attributed to an anticipated 7 percent decline in equalized assessed valuation. If the EAV is reduced, the tax rate will increase. And the district is asking for what’s legally allowed, which is last year’s extension, plus consumer price index and the new growth.

The district will receive about $1,652,000 more from the 2012 tax levy than from the 2011 tax extension.

The number also includes a 2 percent balloon levy, which Julie-Ann Fuchs, the district’s assistant superintendent for business, said was to protect the district from errors in the estimate and be sure it does not “leave money on the table.” Fuchs said it was the custom of the board to ensure the district will receive the maximum property taxes allowable under the property tax extension limitation law.

The school board voted, 5-1, to approve the tentative levy. Board member Tony Valente voted no. Valente said he could not vote for the plan because he made a promise when he ran for the position that he would never raise taxes. At the meeting, Valente asked Fuchs whether he would be voting to increase taxes if he voted for the levy. She responded that it would be because it is more than last year’s.

Valente said he objected to the balloon levy as something the district could choose not to do.

“They don’t have to do that, but their assertion is that if we don’t do it, we lose out on money,” Valente said. “But we’re not losing out on the money we got last year.

“In hard times like this, some might tend not to do that. … That was my assertion and my disagreement with the balloon.”

Fuchs stressed the amount is a proposal, and that the district asks for more than it expects to receive. The next step is on Nov. 26, when officials will review changes and finalize the fund distribution.

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