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updated: 5/6/2014 1:29 PM

Taxes on rise for Naperville District 203 residents

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The completion of the all-day kindergarten rollout in Naperville Unit District 203 is one of the highlights of a budget the district is developing that would keep student fees unchanged but raise property taxes by $206 for the average homeowner.

The proposed budget also adds $1 million to operations and maintenance to jump-start some building projects and creates a contingency fund in case of unforeseen repair needs, said Brad Cauffman, chief financial officer. It calls for spending $296 million of the $302 million the district expects to take in from property taxes, state funding and other sources.

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The school board heard an overview of the proposed budget for the first time Monday night in advance a public hearing scheduled for June 16.

Proposed spending is roughly 3 percent more than last year's $253.6 million budget. Additional funding will provide the equivalent of 4.25 more full-time teaching jobs -- several of them in kindergarten as the all-day program will begin at Highlands, Kingsley, Maplebrook, Meadow Glens, Prairie, Ranch View and River Woods schools.

Spending on benefits also is expected to increase, and personnel costs account for 80 percent of the district's expenditures.

Cauffman said the additional planned spending will cost the owner of a $375,000 house -- the average in the district -- about $206 more on the district's share of the property tax bill. The total the average homeowner will owe is expected to be $6,732.75 instead of last year's $6,527.12.

Not yet reflected in the proposed budget is potential savings from the early repayment of a $10 million loan. The district is in the process of negotiating early repayment with bondholders in an effort that could save nearly $5 million in interest off the expected $17.29 million total cost of the debt.

The early repayment will use $3 million in property tax revenue the district recently voted to keep instead of refunding to taxpayers. The average homeowner will not be refunded $95 because of that decision, and Cauffman said that amount is factored into the total expected tax bill of $6,732.75.

Board members will continue to review the proposed budget at meetings on May 19, June 2 and June 16.

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