District 54 opposes House Bill 3793
Posted by Terri McHugh on Friday, November 4th, 2011 at 9:38 am
When the General Assembly continues the veto session on Nov. 8, one of the bills under consideration will be House Bill 3793, which will have a far-reaching, negative impact on District 54, all school districts and all other taxing districts in Illinois. We urge all state representatives to VOTE NO for HB 3793.
The bill requires that if the equalized assessed valuation declines in communities with tax caps, such as District 54′s community, the allowable increase in a taxing body’s levy would be 0 percent (or a higher rate if approved by voters).
District 54 opposes this bill for the following reasons:
- District 54 would lose about $2.3 million in tax revenue this year if this bill passes.
- Each tax levy is based on the previous year’s levy as a percent increase. Therefore, a reduction for one year is permanent, continuous and compounding.
- The tax cap already effectively limits a school district’s ability to increase its tax levy to 5 percent or the CPI (whichever is lower). For the 2011 tax year, the CPI is just 1.5 percent.
- District 54 has already experienced reduced revenue through cuts in transportation (a $1.4 million loss this year), special education (a $800,000 loss) and cash flow due to the state of Illinois making late payments.
- The bill eliminates a school board’s authority to levy based on the needs of its community. School board members are elected to make these decisions. The bill is a further erosion of local control.
District 54 examines our revenues and expenditures each year in an effort to live within our means, while at the same time providing a quality education and safe learning environment for our more than 14,000 students.
With taxing bodies limited to a 1.5 percent increase, the larger increase in property owner tax bills are due to other factors, such as property tax appeals and reassessments.
Support local education. Call your local legislator and tell them to VOTE NO for HB 3793. The bill was introduced by state Rep. Jack Franks, but it is co-sponsored by local Representatives Fred Crespo and Michelle Mussman.