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updated: 11/8/2010 6:40 PM

Some suburban school districts preparing to get by with less

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Many school districts across Cook County's Northwest suburbs saw minimal increases to their 2009 tax rates, which means they'll have a few more dollars with which to work.

But the nominal hikes in the property taxes school districts will collect won't begin to offset the rising costs of education and teachers' contracts.

And in some cases, school districts will see even less revenue than expected.

One of the more extreme examples is in Palatine Township Elementary District 15, where the tax rate fell 3.27 percent to 2.307 per $100 of equalized assessed valuation. That will result in about $700,000 less for the already financially-strapped district.

Mike Adamczyk, assistant superintendent for business and auxiliary services, said that because the district's tax base increased, the district expects to collect $104.1 million in property taxes instead of the projected $104.8 million.

"It's a little less than we expected but nothing we can't handle," said Adamczyk. The figure did not come as a surprise because Cook County released preliminary figures more than three weeks ago, he added.

Elk Grove Township Elementary District 59 is benefiting from a much different trend.

Its 2009 tax rate rose 7.46 percent one of the largest increases in the area to 1.945. As a result, Assistant Superintendent Ruth Gloede said District 59 could receive about $453,000 more than expected.

Gloede said District 59's tax rate increased because of a more than 6 percent drop in its equalized assessed value, or EAV. She attributed that to sluggish market values in the commercial and industrial sector a significant portion of district's tax base.

Tax rates are based on a school district's levy divided by its total EAV.

School officials say it's important to note that districts only create the levy not the tax rate or EAV. And all taxing districts were subject to a 0.1 percent tax cap in 2009, a function of state law and the Consumer Price Index.

In Palatine-Schaumburg High School District 211, the 2009 tax rate fell 0.62 percent because its $10.1 billion EAV rose slightly, according to Associate Superintendent David Torres. District 211 is likely to see no change in the amount of property taxes it collects, he said.