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District 207 Residents' Taxes Will Rise

If you live in the district, expect a tax increase of approximately $45 on a $6,000 tax bill. Board members raised the levy 4.19%, saying they wanted to prepare for Springfield shifting pension costs onto individual school districts.

 

If you live in Maine Township High School District 207, you can expect an increase on your property tax bill.

Board members voted 5-1 to raise the tax levy 4.19% at Monday’s board meeting. Some noted that the state of Illinois, which is saddled with pension costs, may shift responsibility for those costs to individual school districts. 

The total amount of the levy is $109,114,250.   Taxpayers who pay an annual property tax of $6,000 will see an increase of about $45. For those with an annual tax bill of $12,000, double that. 

Property owners in Des Plaines and Park Ridge who live in D207 pay about 25% of their total property tax bills to the high school district.  

The D207 has raised the levy by the legal limits within the consumer price index every year since the inception of tax caps.

The actual tax hike is three percent for existing home owners, but to receive revenue from new property, D207 has to ask for more than the three percent in case that new property does not raise the revenue that is currently estimated. The Rivers Casino is Des Plaines is by far the most prominent new property in the area and this will be the first year totally on the local tax rolls.

D207 members appear to be preparing themselves for either less money coming in from Springfield or the state shifting pension liability from the state to the individual districts as the state tries to alleviate its massive pension shortfall that might be as high as $95 billion.

Eric Leys, the D207 representative to Illinois Association of School Boards, as well as the D207 Finance Committee Chairman voted for the increase but like many others in the suburbs is very concerned about what could happen in Springfield.

“I think if the legislature should move forward with this pension activity, it has the effect of spreading a financial cancer to local school districts throughout the state,” Leys said.

But fellow member Edward Mueller did not believe the levy increase was necessary. “I think there are other savings that can be made,” he said. “You can always cut the budget, you can look at class sizes and a lot of different things.”

But Mueller turned out to be the only dissenting vote with member Donna Pellar absent.

“I don’t think anybody wants to raise taxes,” D207 President Sean Sullivan said. “It’s important that we offer the ultimate in services and academics to our students.”

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lori diversey December 05, 2012 at 10:51 PM
I was at that meeting but missed my opportunity to voice my opposition as a taxpayer. Surprisingly, Mr Leys in his touching speech proclaimed he had heard taxpayers concerns about what an tax increase would mean for them and in his own personal turmoil as to what to do still chose to vote in favor of the increase. Mr Burk felt he didn't want to miss the 'opportunity' to raise taxes. We also heard from Ms Owens that she too was having quite the quandary as to how to best serve the district voted for the increase. I applaud Mr Mueller who said he heard the concerns of taxpayers and as a board member elected to uphold the wishes of the taxpayer voted NO to the increase. I am angry that the taxpayers are expected to refinance a promised program that elected officials failed to maintain properly! If the money isn't available for those that invested in the pension program then it isn't. Just as any investment loss. Why is it different for someone getting a public union pension? It's almost like we can now look at public pension recipients as yet another 'welfare class' group.
Carol Kazuk Paddock December 06, 2012 at 05:36 AM
I am a teacher. I have always prided myself on being a hard-working teacher. I, like other Illinois teachers, contributed my fair share of my hard-earned money into the pension system year after year. The state of Illinois used this pension money as its own "credit card". Now, it cannot repay the bills. This is not "just any investment loss". No teachers ever voted "yes" to authorize the state to use our money like a credit card. Our money was to remain in the pension system until retirement age. It's our money that we worked hard for. And, to be called "yet another welfare class group"--how insulting to the profession of teaching.
Malta December 06, 2012 at 01:22 PM
The " great society" liberal welfare programs of the Lyndon Johnson era and of the current liberal democratic administration are "coming home to roost". This is just the beginning.. " income redistribution". Into an ever poorer society.
Deadcatbounce December 06, 2012 at 04:12 PM
No Carol, but teachers supported these politicians and I did not hear any complaining as one pension enhancement after another was piled on starting in the 70s. The truth is, this was a Ponzi scheme and your “fair share” is just not enough to support all the enhancements bestowed upon this system. Please educate yourself and yes, your group is just another “welfare class”. The truth hurts … http://www.championnews.net/2011/12/02/il-pensions-130-benefit-increases-since-1970-are-the-major-cause-of-unfunded-liability/
bryan shute December 06, 2012 at 06:18 PM
It was never the teacher money it never existed as for you paying your share ha ha ...20% even 50% that you pay is not enought carpenter union we pay the whole thing and when we retire on get $80 per year worked and this can change at any time

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