Crystal Lake High School District 155 is also included in attorney Tim Dwyer’s tax protest suit, as you can see below:
COMMUNITY HIGH SCHOOL DISTRICT 155 TRANSPORTATION FUND – ILLEGAL ACCUMULATION
The Community High School District 155 (“District 155”) is a school district formed under the Illinois School Code.
As an entity with the power to tax, District 155 is subject to the Illinois School Code, the Illinois Revenue Code, the Property Tax Limitation and Extension Act, as well as the common law which has evolved under the aforesaid statutes.
While taxing officials are permitted a reasonable latitude in the accumulation of public funds to assure having funds on hand to meet legitimate expenditures as they occur, this discretion must not be abused.
No statutory authority exists for large accumulations to provide for possible emergencies, which may or may not occur, since emergencies engendered by unforeseen circumstances are amply provided for in the statute, and may not be anticipated, as no resource is ample to meet every emergency which could possibly occur.
If discretion can be abused, there must exist a yardstick by which discretion can be measured, and the Illinois Supreme Court, in the case of People ex rel. Leaf v. Roth, 389 Ill. 287, 59 N.E.2d 643 (Ill. 1945) approved a formula of average actual expenditures “as established by recent prior experience”, using the actual expenditure of the three preceding years as a basis for determining the estimated expenditures for the ensuing year, in the absence of specific predetermined requirements which supplant mere conjecture and judgment of taxing authorities.
The Illinois Supreme Court has repeatedly held that a tax levy can be made for the requirements for the ensuing year only, and may not be made to create a fund for possible future needs. C.C.C. & St. L. Ry. Co., v. People ex rel. Selby, 208 Ill. 9, 69 N.E. 832 (Ill. 1904).
As to School Districts, the Illinois School Code (105 ILCS 5/17-5.1) specifically provides that “No tax for operations and maintenance purposes and the purchase of school grounds as provided in Section 11-9 and no tax for operations and maintenance purposes as provided in Section 17-5 shall be levied at a rate sufficient to accumulate funds nor shall funds for such purposes be accumulated as authorized in, said sections until the board of education or school board has by resolution ordered the submission of the proposition of accumulating funds for such purpose to the electors of the district at a regular scheduled election and the proposition has been approved by a majority of the electors voting thereon.”
Absent a referendum, the accumulation of public funds beyond the actual requirements for the particular purpose for the ensuing year is illegal and contrary to the policy of the law, as well as being an imposition upon the taxpayer, depriving him or her of funds to which he is entitled.
In 2015, District 155 levied $1,405,372 for its Transportation Fund.
Prior to its levy of $1,405,372, the District had a fund balance, at the end of its fiscal year ending June 30, 2015, of $6,737,286.
The average annual, three-year expense prior to the 2014 levy was $3,418,004.
In addition to ad volerem funds, District 155 receives over $3,000,000 annually for transportation from the state and federal government.
The existing balance of $6,737,286 amounts to over twice the average annual expense.
Accordingly, the Transportation Levy is illegal, excessive and void.
Therefore, the illegal levy rate of .067040 should be rebated to the Objectors.
WHEREFORE, Plaintiff Tax Protestors, pray that the Court consider the matters raised herein, find, determine and otherwise adjudicate that the Transportation Fund levy challenged herein in the 2015 levy adopted by District 155 is illegal, void and excessive as a matter of law, order that the McHenry County Treasurer issue rebate payments to the Tax Protestor Plaintiffs, award statutory interest pursuant to 35 ILCS 200/23-20, et. seq., and issue whatever further relief this Court deems just and appropriate.