Kindergarten, libraries and sales taxes on the ballot in March

Besides selecting Democratic and Republican nominees for U.S. president, Congress and a host of state and county posts, voters in Cook and Lake counties heading to the polls for the March 19 primary will decide ballot initiatives seeking funding for school upgrades, a new library and more.

Here’s a look at some of the referendums appearing on North and Northwest suburban ballots.

Prospect Heights schools

Prospect Heights Elementary School District 23 officials are asking voters to approve a tax-rate hike that will pay for additional classrooms, building improvements and some additional operating costs.

Perhaps most significantly, Eisenhower Elementary School would be renovated and expanded with additional classrooms — at least some of which could be used for state-mandated full-day kindergarten classes, officials have said. The district also would install security equipment and replace windows, siding and doors at MacArthur Middle School, Anne Sullivan Elementary School and Betsy Ross Elementary School.

  Children learn about sentences during a kindergarten class taught by Stacy Ross at Eisenhower School in Prospect Heights. School District 23 is seeking voter approval in March for a tax-rate increase that would help fund full-day kindergarten at Eisenhower. Joe Lewnard/

If approved, the owner of a house valued at $200,000 would pay about $290 more in taxes to the district the first year.

Voters rejected a similar request in April 2023.

  Ally Washak teaches her kindergarten class at Eisenhower School in Prospect Heights. School District 23 is seeking voter approval in March for a tax-rate increase that would help fund full-day kindergarten at Eisenhower. Joe Lewnard/

Hanover Park Park District

Hanover Park Park District voters will decide if officials can borrow $8 million to replace the roof at the Community Center, 1919 Walnut Ave.

If successful, it would be the first tax-rate increase in the park district's 60-year history, Commissioner Mark Elkins said.

Homeowners would pay an additional $3 in taxes to the district for every $100,000 their homes are worth, if the measure is approved by voters, Elkins said.

Deer Park

Deer Park officials want to keep the sales tax rate at 8% in town rather than letting it drop to 7.5% as scheduled. The Deer Park Town Center shopping center is the jewel of the village’s commercial district on Rand Road. Courtesy Deer Park Town Center

Deer Park voters will be asked to keep the total sales tax in town at 8% rather than allowing it to drop to 7.5% as scheduled.

In April 2021, voters decided to increase the town's portion of sales tax by half a percentage point for three years, resulting in an additional 50 cents of tax for every $100 spent. That increase is set to expire this year.

Extra revenue was needed at the time, officials said, because of how the COVID-19 pandemic hurt the local economy.

The increase was expected to net Deer Park an extra $700,000 annually. The annual average total actually has been about $900,000, officials said this month.

If the proposal is approved, the total sales tax rate for goods purchased in Deer Park would remain 8% into 2028.

Grayslake School District 46

Grayslake Elementary School District 46 officials are asking voters to permit the district to raise $6 million to pay for building and operating needs. The sum sought is more than what’s allowed by law for the 2024 tax year, officials said, so voter approval is needed.

The proposal would set a new limiting tax rate for the district. If approved, the owner of a $300,000 house would pay $756 in taxes in 2025.

But the change won’t go into effect until current debt is paid off in November 2025, officials said, so a homeowner shouldn’t actually see their bill go up. Once the debt is paid off, and without approval of the referendum, annual taxes to the district will decrease about $846 for a $300,000 property.

If the measure passes, the net effect will be a $90 decrease for a $300,000 house, officials said.

Visit for more information.

Round Lake Area Library

The Round Lake Area Public Library District is asking voters to authorize borrowing about $36.4 million to construct a new library building at Cedar Lake and Hart roads. Courtesy of Round Lake Area Public Library District

Round Lake Area Public Library District voters will decide if officials should borrow about $36.4 million to build a new library on a roughly diamond-shaped parcel at Cedar Lake and Hart roads.

Officials say the current library, built in 1988 at 906 Hart Road, is too small. Plans for a new building include a meeting room for larger programs, additional program space, more meeting and study rooms, and other amenities.

The owner of a house valued at $200,000 would pay an additional $298 in property taxes to the library district if the measure is approved.

For more information and a tax calculator, visit

Glenbard High School District 87

Voters are being asked to allow the district to borrow $183 million to make improvements to its four high schools.

The district has outlined $312 million in projects for the schools, which range from 51 to 100 years old. Improvements would be covered by the $183 million the district is seeking from voters and $129 million from the district’s operating budget over the next 10 years.

If approved, the request would cost the owner of a home valued at $300,000 an additional $178 on their annual tax bill.

District 87 serves nearly 8,000 high school students in Glen Ellyn, Glendale Heights, Carol Stream and Lombard, along with parts of Hanover Park, Bloomingdale, Addison, Downers Grove and Wheaton.

Glenbard High School District 87 is asking voters to approve a $183 million borrowing plan that will provide some of the funding for a proposed $312 million plan to upgrade all four of its high schools, including Glenbard North in Carol Stream. Daily Herald File Photo

Proposed improvements vary by high school, but generally include renovations to entryways, upgrading science labs, renovating cafeterias to ease crowding, relocating common areas to increase student access to support services such as social workers and counselors, adding windows to bring in more natural light and replacing flooring and lighting where needed.

“Our educational environmental spaces need to be versatile to accommodate learning experiences that are more engaging and deeper ... our students deserve educational spaces that match their efforts, their talents and high level of achievement,” District 87 Superintendent David Larson said.

Two questions in Roselle

Roselle officials are seeking home-rule authority so that the village can raise funds through a local sales tax and a local gasoline tax to pay for infrastructure projects.

And the Roselle Park District is asking voters for authority to issue $7 million in bonds for a range of projects across the parks system. The district would use the money to upgrade Kemmerling Pool, install new playground equipment in Kemmerling Park, reconfigure the fitness center inside the Clauss Recreation Center and repave trails. The district also would fund reforestation and natural area restoration efforts in parks.

If voters approve the bond request, the park district’s share of the property tax bill would increase by an estimated $72 a year for the owner of a home valued at $332,000.

* Daily Herald staff writers Eric Peterson, Mick Zawislak, Alicia Fabbre and Katlyn Smith contributed to this report.

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