District 427 approves tax levy request

SYCAMORE – The Sycamore School District 427 Board unanimously approved a $24.8 million tax levy request Tuesday night.

This year’s levy request will add about $800,000 in property tax revenue to next year’s school budget. About $113,000 of that will come from new construction.

Before the proposed property tax increase went to a vote, Luke Glowiak, assistant superintendent for business, said this was an important decision to make.

“This is the only opportunity for the board to request funds from a tax,” he said.

Glowiak said taxes on property are the only tax the district can levy under state law.

The board’s initial request comes to 5.59 percent increase over last year’s tax extension.

Glowiak said that although that is the amount the district is requesting, they probably will receive something less.

“While the board has requested 5.59 percent, we anticipate the actual increase will be down in the neighborhood of 3.5 [percent] to 4 percent,” he said.

Glowiak added that last year’s increase was a little less than 3 percent.

Taxing bodies commonly levy for more money than they expect to receive in order to capture all funds from new construction.

Although it’s possible the tax rate for property owners will go up, the amount of taxes they pay should stay about the same or might even go down.

“This is because the value of property is going down,” Glowiak said.

Superintendent Kathy Countryman said the approved levy request would go into the district’s budget. It will be decided later how the revenue will be spent. The district’s budget for this school year includes a $2.6 million deficit, and education fund reserves are expected to drop to $7.1 million as a result.

Regarding the approval, Countryman said that any additional funds for the district would be utilized in a mindful and careful way. She also said she’s appreciative of the support that district has had from the community on the approval.

Glowiak said the next step from this meeting will be the DeKalb County Clerk to decide the final value the district will receive next year.

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