Grayslake Elementary District 46 taxpayers are expected to receive a higher bill to fund the school system's needs next year.
Board members have agreed to seek the maximum amount of money next year through what's called a tax levy. Board members Susan Facklam, Jill Alfrejd, James Weidman, Steven Strack and Robert Roop were in favor in the 5-1 vote at a recent meeting. Kip Evans was the lone dissenter and Karen Weinert was absent.
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Tentative projections show an owner of a $150,000 home would pay an extra $66.54 in taxes to the district in 2014. The tax hike would be $88.72 for the owner of a $200,000 home.
Under the tax cap, school districts are limited to seeking an increase of 5 percent or the rate of inflation -- the Consumer Price Index -- as determined in December 2012, whichever is lower.
While the CPI was at 1.7 percent, school districts often seek more than the capped amount because it does not apply to new properties added to the tax roll. District 46's board majority agreed to pursue an allowed maximum 4.7 percent tax levy increase to ensure all possible revenue is received.
Acting Chief School Business Official Chris Bobek said the district must maximize its tax base. He said financial concerns include current deficit spending, upcoming union employee contract negotiations and reduced federal and state funding.
"Obviously, balancing our budget is the No. 1 concern," Bobek told elected officials.
Roughly $37.2 million in revenue and $38.5 million in expenses are forecast for the 2013-14 academic year, according to the district's current budget.
About 72 percent of the district's annual revenue is projected to come from local property taxes next year, followed by state aid at 21 percent. Bobek said the equalized assessed value of property there has declined 9 percent, but solid figures likely won't be known until next spring.
District 46 has seven schools and covers parts of Grayslake, Third Lake, Hainesville, Round Lake, Round Lake Park, Round Lake Beach and Lake Villa.