School, library, sales tax requests to be decided in Tuesday’s election

Voters throughout the suburbs on will weigh in Tuesday on whether to build new schools, increase sales taxes, construct a new library and more.

The two biggest ballot measures, by dollars, are a proposal to build a new high school in Kane County and to repair and remodel four high schools in DuPage County.

Even though Tuesday is a primary where political parties will pick candidates for federal, state and county offices, you do not have to take a party ballot to vote in referendums.

$195 million high school

Central Unit District 301 is asking voters’ permission to borrow $195 million to build a new, larger high school in Burlington.

The district says the 33-year-old high school isn’t big enough for expected enrollment increases, as the City of Elgin continues to approve new housing developments.

Opponents say the district could add a third floor to the existing high school. And they question whether enrollment will increase as projected.

Upgrades in District 87

Voters in Glenbard High School District 87 are being asked to back a request to borrow $183 million, which will be used toward a $312 million building improvement program.

The district says its four high schools, which range in age from 50 to 100 years old, are in need of various improvements. District 87 includes Glenbard North, Glenbard South, Glenbard West and Glenbard East high schools.

The owner of a $300,000 home would pay about $178 in additional property taxes to the high school district.

Kindergarten in Prospect Heights

Just last spring, voters in Prospect Heights Elementary District 23 rejected a tax hike that would have funded full-day kindergarten, additional classroom space, security improvements and other building upgrades.

  Stacy Ross teaches her kindergarten class at Eisenhower School in Prospect Heights. Joe Lewnard/

Now, with full-day kindergarten no longer an option but a state mandate by 2027, the district is hoping voters will have a change of heart.

If they do and the measure is approved Tuesday, the district will raise its tax rate so the owner of a house valued at $350,000 would pay about $459 more in taxes to the district the first year.

Deer Park sales tax

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

If approved, the tax will remain at 8% until June 30, 2028.

New library for the Round Lakes?

Round Lake Area Public Library District voters will decide if the district should borrow about $36.4 million to build a new library at Cedar Lake and Hart roads in Round Lake.

Renderings of a proposed new Round Lake Area Public Library facility. Courtesy of Round Lake library

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

According to the district, building a new facility nearly double the size at a different location is the most cost-effective way to proceed and offers a greater value per tax dollar than the alternative of expanding the current building or building a new one on the current site.

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.

Repair, update Fenton High

Fenton High School District 100 is seeking to borrow $65 million for infrastructure work and classroom renovations.

The district would issue bonds to update security systems, modernize and expand some classrooms, renovate locker rooms and improve programming and career learning spaces in the Bensenville high school.

If approved, the owner of a home valued at $229,000 would pay an estimated $222 in additional property taxes to the district annually.

Funding for Grayslake schools

Grayslake Elementary School District 46 officials are asking voters to permit the district to increase its tax rate to raise about $6 million more a year to fund building upgrades and operating expenses.

Community Consolidated School District 46 headquarters in Grayslake. Courtesy of CCSD 46

However, under the district's plan, the hike won't go into effect until 2025, when current debt is paid off. Because of that, district officials say, property taxes for the owner of a home valued at $300,000 would decline by about $90 even if the measure is approved as the current rate of 86 cents per $100 assessed valuation is taken off the books and a new rate of 76 cents is put in place.

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