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District 424 board approves $10.5M property tax levy

Published: Wednesday, Dec. 18, 2013 5:30 a.m. CDT

GENOA – About $10.5 million was set for the Genoa-Kingston School District 424 property tax levy.

On Tuesday, school board members unanimously approved the levy for fiscal year 2013, which the school district will receive in installments starting next spring after the levy is filed this month. Excluding bonds and interest, the capped amount for the levy is about $8.3 million.

The total levy the school district is requesting is a 4.78 percent increase over last year. School officials are asking for more than what they can expect to receive because of tax levying limitations, said Brad Shortridge, the district’s assistant superintendent. 

“All public bodies do this in the state of Illinois and most of them don’t get what they ask for,” he said. 

Because of the Property Tax Extension Limitation Law, the school district can only receive a limited increase in the levy of up to 5 percent of what was received the year before; or 1.7 percent under the Consumer Price Index, whichever is less. 

“What this means is excluding new construction, we can receive no more than 1.7 percent more than what we received last year,” he said. 

Funds from the levy makes up 62 percent of the school district’s revenue. Increases to the levy are made to keep up with the rising costs of running a school district, such as salaries, energy costs, supplies, equipment and other school materials, Shortridge said. 

“All those prices rise, so it’s prudent for a school district to also levy for increases,” he said before the meeting. 

The levy also is increased to capture new growth in the district, such as new construction of homes or businesses. 

Overall assessed property value in the district have been decreasing since 2008, when it was $223 million, the highest since 2005. Last year, the assessed property values were at $179 million and this year are estimated to drop about $14 million. 

Because property values are sinking, the tax rate is rising. Shortridge said last year the tax rate was $5.62 per $100 of the overall assessed values, which is about 63 cents higher than 2011.

Joe Burgess, the district’s superintendent, commended Shortridge on his presentation of the tax levy.

“It’s very important to explain that process every year,” he said. 

By the number

Equalized assessed property value for Genoa-Kingston School District 424

2005: $175 million 

2008: $223 million

2012: $179 million

2013: $165 million (estimated)

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