District 25 tax hike referendum 'yes' votes holding narrow lead after latest update

In what could be the final update provided by the Cook County clerk's office, only 50 votes separated "yes" from "no" Thursday in Arlington Heights Elementary District 25's $75 million referendum.

But District 25 officials said they won't call the race until Tuesday, when the clerk certifies the results.

Mail-in ballots postmarked by June 28 - Election Day - were counted through Tuesday, said Superintendent Lori Bein, who spoke with officials in the clerk's office.

Results were to be updated on the clerk's website by Wednesday or Thursday, with the final certification coming Tuesday, July 19, Bein said.

"District 25 will wait for the official, certified results before taking any next steps," she said.

By the close of business Thursday, the ballot question seeking voter permission to raise taxes had 5,227 "yes" votes and 5,177 "no" votes, according to the unofficial results.

It's at least the seventh update of vote tabulations since polls closed June 28. But the narrow "yes" vote lead of about 50 votes has held now for about two weeks, with only two dozen ballots added to the count since then.

While there was a slim margin of votes leaning against the measure on election night, Cook County counts early and absentee ballots last.

If the measure is approved, District 25 would be able to issue up to $75 million in bonds to build 25 new full-day kindergarten classrooms across six of the district's seven elementary schools and fund five years' worth of infrastructure projects.

The classroom additions are estimated to cost $32.2 million to $42.6 million, while the capital plan would cost $32.9 million, officials said.

The tax increase would cost the owner of a home valued at $400,000 an extra $300 in property taxes a year, or $25 a month.

Bein and the school board were scheduled to discuss the latest on the referendum at their monthly meeting Tuesday night, but the session was canceled due to lack of a quorum.

The board next meets Aug. 9.

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