(Dec. 20, 2018) -- At its regular meeting this evening, the District 200 Board of Education took a combination of actions that are expected to net a savings of $4.4 million for local property owners.
First, the Board approved an increase in the annual tax levy of 2.1%, which is the amount permitted under tax-cap laws. The total tax levy is expected to generate an additional $1.4 million in tax revenues to the District. This would increase the annual taxes of a $400,000 market value home by approximately $68.
However, the Board also approved applying for one of the new Property Tax Relief Grants from the State of Illinois. The state’s 2019 budget includes a total of $50 million to provide property tax relief for school districts with high property taxes. With Oak Park and River Forest High School ranked 15th on the state’s priority list, it is likely to receive one of the grants. If this occurs, the Board would pass the savings along to property owners via tax abatement.
Under the terms of the grant, the maximum possible property tax relief that D200 could provide to its taxpayers is $5.8 million. If the District receives the grant, it would commit to reducing this year’s taxes by the $5.8 million amount. This would reduce the District's portion of the annual tax bill for a $400,000 market value home by approximately $280. (Note that because the District is just one of the local taxing bodies, a property owner's total tax bill may still increase.) The state would pay the District approximately $3.8 million in state funds to offset the majority of the tax relief.
Furthermore, the state has indicated that it is likely that it would continue to provide these grant dollars in future years. This would put the District in a position to consider future tax abatements should the funds be received by the state. The Illinois State Board of Education will notify school districts by Jan. 31, 2019, if they are eligible for the grant.
If the grant is approved and the tax abatement is made, the net reduction in taxes would be approximately $212 for District's portion of the tax bill for a $400,000 market value home. This net reduction in the tax levy would mean that the total taxes extended for District 200 would be below its 2010 tax level.