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School District 207 to Ask for 4.2% More in Property Taxes

Voice your opinion Dec. 3. One board member voted no, saying it's not needed; others said the district should put aside money in preparation for big expenditures coming due--especially teacher pensions.

 

Maine Township High School District 207 will ask residents for about $109 million next year. 

That's an increase of 4.19 percent from the amount the district collected in 2012, according to the proposed levy the school board approved Nov. 5.

The board voted 5-1 to approve the proposed tax levy – the amount the district will ask Cook County to collect on its behalf. It will hold a public hearing at 7 p.m. Dec. 3 before taking a final vote on the levy.

The sole no vote came from school board member Edward Mueller.

“I’ve voted consistently no for any tax increase for about two years, maybe a little longer,” Mueller said. “This seems higher than what we’ve approved in the last couple of years. I think we’re going in the wrong direction.”

Earlier:

But board member Eldon Burk said the district has no choice but to ask for as much tax money as it's entitled to, given that the Illinois legislature is considering pushing responsibility for teacher pension payments back to local school districts, creating a massive financial liability for the districts.

“There’s so much uncertainty about expenses that probably will be pushed back to us, we have to do this now,” said Burk, who is on the finance committee with Mueller and board member Eric Leys.

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Leys emphasized that the committee had forwarded the proposed levy to the school board without a recommendation of whether they should vote for it or not.

Leys said he agrees with Mueller’s reluctance to add to the tax burden of local homeowners, but said that with the pension situation and the district’s upcoming capital improvement needs, he was voting “reluctantly yes.”

Superintendent Ken Wallace pointed out that the increase in the levy is higher than usual because it is capturing newly available tax revenue from the Rivers Casino in Des Plaines.

A memo to the board from Kalou said that the district probably won’t be able to get the entire 4.19 percent increase because of the state tax cap. Under Kalou’s most likely scenario, the district should expect $108.6 million, or a 3.69 percent increase.

District 207 includes Maine East and Maine South high schools in Park Ridge and Maine West High School in Des Plaines.

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Robert Peterson November 28, 2012 at 06:53 AM
When any organization trims the staff who are making the least amount of money, and then doesn't replace them, of course the average salary goes up. If people ever hope to have value return to their homes, they had better start getting their heads on right: taxes to schools are an investment in their property ... if the schools go bad, people in District 207 will have to start paying people to move in. People move in to D207 because of the schools, so if you one day ever hope to sell your property, you had better keep the schools in good shape. Like the businessmen say: you get what you pay for. Most of the fellow parents I talk to feel Maine does a great job with the kids, despite what a few malcontents will bellow about. Finn is absolutely right ... the district accountant dropped the ball, and forced the school into budget cuts. The union was asked to give up money for someone else's mistake. How many of you would >>willingly<< hand over money for a mistake someone else made? Place the blame where it is due. The teachers are not to blame about this one.
Quagmire November 28, 2012 at 12:09 PM
While alot of what you say holds true, look at Chicago, CPS wants more and more & the property owners are getting raised all the time and Chicago property is going nowhere.....
Quagmire November 28, 2012 at 12:11 PM
This 4.2% on the teachers/school portion of the tax bill not the entire bill correct?
Quagmire November 28, 2012 at 12:13 PM
And I still say:if the police actually enforced the speed limit on North Prospect. In one day they would have thousands of speeders. All in one day!!! times 7 days a week ( a little less on Sunday) Where are they? I never see them. Occasionally in the may years I have been there I have seen a police car parked watching stop sign blowers but never speeders.

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