District 203 board to consider keeping tax levy for debt off property owners' bills for 6th year

  • The Naperville Unit District 203 school board is considering fully abating $2.7 million in its 2021 debt service tax levy.

      The Naperville Unit District 203 school board is considering fully abating $2.7 million in its 2021 debt service tax levy. Paul Valade | Staff Photographer

 
 
Posted3/9/2022 5:20 AM

The Naperville Unit District 203 school board will consider $2.7 million in tax savings for residents through the abatement of its 2021 debt service levy.

A resolution for the abatement, which is being recommended by district officials, will appear on the March 21 board meeting agenda. If approved, it'll mark the sixth straight year the district has abated the debt service levy.

 

"This is something that we've been talking with the board of education and community about for the past few years," Superintendent Dan Bridges said. "And we worked with our Citizens Finance Advisory Committee to build into our projections the assumption that the debt service levy would be abated."

Regardless of the debt service tax levy, district officials have said homeowners still will see a 1.4% increase on the school portion of their property tax bills, which equates to about $25 for the owner of a $410,000 home. If the abatement isn't approved, that same homeowner would see an increase of about $92.

Michael Frances, the district's chief financial officer, said nearly $17 million of the debt service levy will have been abated over the last six years if the board gives its approval at the next meeting.

"Why we're asking you to consider this or have discussion and direction tonight," Frances said, "is because, as you know, with this bond abatement we need to file the paperwork with the county right after the next board meeting as taxes get extended in the very near future."

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The debt service tax levy dates back to 2009 when the district issued $33 million in bonds as part of a massive capital improvement initiative. Frances said one outstanding bond remains. It has a few years remaining on it, while others were paid off early.

To make the abatement a reality, the board also must approve a transfer of the $2.7 million from the district's education fund to its debt service fund to pay for the bond and interest.

"I think it's really great that we're able to pay that off and make sure that the taxes don't increase," board President Kristin Fitzgerald said.

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