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Article posted: 7/24/2013 5:03 PM

Batavia schools' proposed budget counting on more taxes from Aurora mall area

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The Batavia school district is happily budgeting for a nearly 6 percent increase in the amount of property taxes it will receive to support its proposed 2013-14 budget.

Most of that is coming from property in Aurora that was in a tax-increment financing district until 2012. That district included the Chicago Premium Outlets Mall.

In a tax-increment financing district, the assessed value of property is frozen for the purpose of distributing tax money to local units of government. But the increase in taxes created by the increase in value of improved or redeveloped properties is funneled back into improvements, such as roads and other infrastructure.

The base equalized assessed valuation of the land in 1989, when the TIF was formed, was $226,777. When it expired, the EAV was $86.03 million.

The school district now gets to book that as new construction for the purposes of taxation. It should get about $4.7 million in taxes from it in calendar year 2014, said Kris Monn, the school district's assistant superintendent for finance.

Some of that money will be spent on additional personnel and equipment, he said.

Monn gave an overview of the proposed budget Tuesday to the school board. The board will discuss the budget during a workshop meeting Aug. 13, then conduct a public hearing and vote on it Sept. 24.

The fiscal year started July 1. State law gives school districts until Sept. 30 to adopt a budget.

The budget is on display at the district headquarters, 335 W. Wilson St., Batavia. Monn said he also intends to place it on the district's website, bps101.net.

Monn noted it estimates less federal funding for education of disabled students, and said it was the result of the ongoing federal budget sequestration.

The total budget, including what the district must pay toward its debt, is about $81 million in revenue, and $80.5 million in expenses. Salaries and benefits account for $51 million of the spending. The amount of salaries will go up 2.47 percent, and benefits spending 16.1 percent, compared to what the district spent in 2012-13.

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