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Article updated: 11/6/2012 5:42 PM

Proposed U-46 tax levy would add $150 to a $5,000 tax bill

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The Elgin Area School District U-46 school board has approved a property tax levy that is about 9 percent more than the district received this year, but the actual amount the district gets will be far less, district financial administrators said.

School board members on Monday voted unanimously to approve a levy of $265,434,979. This year's extension -- the amount it actually received -- was $243,285,505, said Dale Burnidge, U-46's director of financial operations. Burnidge said the district is permitted to ask for more than it expects to receive, though the actual amount is limited to 5 percent of the previous extension or the Consumer Price Index, which is expected to fall around 3 percent, plus taxes on any new construction. "The levy is the way we get increases in property taxes," Burnidge said. "Because we don't know what the final valuations will be, we have to estimate higher than we will actually get."

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Estimates on the value of new construction within the district is about $35 million, Burnidge said.

The increases would add up to $150 to a $5,000 tax bill for property owners in Cook, Kane and DuPage counties, Burnidge said.

In previous years, the district has levied a 20-percent increase but the recent downturn in new construction has tempered the district's requests.

"When there was more new construction going on, it was hard to tell how much was coming on (the tax rolls)," Burnidge said. "We wanted to make sure we make a high enough estimate to capture everything. But now, there's not that much new construction."

A public hearing on the property tax levy is set for Monday, Nov. 13. The board of education will take final action at its Dec. 3 meeting.

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