District 171 adopts $8 million tax levy, celebrates students

2013-11-19T20:15:00Z 2013-11-19T23:56:07Z District 171 adopts $8 million tax levy, celebrates studentsJoan Carreon Times Correspondent nwitimes.com
November 19, 2013 8:15 pm  • 

LANSING | Sunnybrook Elementary District 171 will ask for about $8 million in property taxes this year but officials do not expect to receive the full amount being requested.

That was the message delivered by Business Manager Kerry Dean during his presentation on the proposed 2013 tax levy during Monday’s public hearing.

The levy request, approved by the School Board during its meeting Monday, is needed to cover about $6.72 million in operating expenses and $1.3 million in bonds and interest, according to information provided by Dean. The total levy represents a nearly 8 percent increase over this year’s $7.44 million tax extension.

However, Dean said he expects the district likely will receive about $508,783 less than the total levy request.

The higher levy amount would allow the district to take advantage of any additional revenue generated by new construction and an increase in the district’s equalized assessed valuation, he said. By law, the district’s property taxes cannot increase by more than 5 percent or the rate of inflation as measured by the Consumer Price Index, which for this year is 1.7 percent, whichever is less.

Real estate taxes make up 53 percent of the district’s tax revenues, and salaries comprise 53 percent of expenses, Dean said.

He also warned of a potential change in the district’s financial outlook in the years to come if operating expenses outpace anticipated revenues.

“At some point, if we don’t manage our every dollar, we are going to be in trouble,” Dean said. But he also said the district spends its money wisely and will continue to closely monitor expenses.

In other matters, plaques and certificates were presented to 13 Nathan Hale and Heritage Middle School students who achieved nearly perfect scores in reading and mathematics on last spring’s Illinois Standards Achievement Test.

Honored were Anthony Alvarez, Candace Barclay, Keniah Cooper, Christine Cunningham, Sydney Davis, Makayla Holt, Elisabeth Houston, Maliq Lucas, Asia Moton, Tommy Nguyen, Darrell Phillips, Gabrielle Siegfried and Samantha Siegfried. Two other students who have since moved away from the district also achieved high marks on the tests.

Heritage Middle School Principal Juan Gardner expressed his hope to have twice as many students recognized next year for their achievements on the 2014 ISAT.

The School Board and audience also enjoyed performances by the Heritage Middle School Choir in honor of School Board Members Day. Board members also said they were impressed by Heritage Middle School fifth-grader Joshua Prioleau’s rousing recitation of Nathan Hale’s and Heritage’s Rising Star School Improvement Plans.

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