Higher Tax Burden Proposed in Huntley District 158 Budget

The proposed budget by administrators which will go on public display August 17th has a hidden tax increase. Neither Superintendent John Burkey nor the board majority is publicly highlighting it.

You can see it hidden on page 39 of 62 on this link. If it doesn’t work anymore, as I have been told, try this one.

$1.6 million of debt is wiped out of this year’s budget and, thus, expenditures by shifting the debt repayment out of the budget and putting it into the bond tax rate. It’s called debt rescheduling.

Burkey’s plan is to have many millions of dollars of bonds and their interest payments shifted from within a tax capped limited fund to the bond tax rate, which has no tax cap limitation.

When you increase the tax burden on residents, however, you are increasing taxes on residents.

Huntley avoided going to referendum or a public vote to expand Marlowe Middle school.

It did it by pledging to pay for the school expansion out of normal annual tax cap limited funds.

With impact fees down, Burkey and Comptroller Mark Altmayer’s idea is to transfer paying for the expansion onto taxpayers in the form of a taxes hike.

Fiscal responsibility, Huntley School District style.

The more money and interest that has to be paid from the bond tax rate levy on taxpayers’ property tax bills, the more taxes will be paid. Altmayer is a resident of Geneva and not affected by higher District 158 taxes.

The District 158 budget is being balanced on two things;

  • The first is on the backs of special ed parents losing federal IDEA funds.
  • The second is because of this hidden tax increase.

I attended the July 14th town hall meeting.

The phrase “fiscally responsible” was used again and again by both Burkey and Altmayer.

I thought Board President Shawn Green position was there wouldn’t be tax increases. He described himself as a “conservative” at the July 14th meeting and at the tea party rally in Crystal Lake.


Higher Tax Burden Proposed in Huntley District 158 Budget — 5 Comments

  1. At no point was it suggested or discussed that the refunding/rescheduling/refinancing of the Marlowe debt certificates would be moved to the tax cap exempt Bond & Interest fund. I don't know for sure, but I suspect that they could not do such without a referendum. The amounts in the area of the FY10 budget to which your link points reflect the lower payments as the new debt is stretched over a substantially longer period of time.

    In addition, I am compelled to point out that the discussion of these debt instruments at the recent FAC meeting was requested by an FAC member and NOT Mr. Altmayer. Mr. Altmayer made copies of a document at the request of the FAC member who brought the document and made the request that it be added to the agenda. Similar to most organizations, members can request that agenda items be added or deleted.

  2. Cal: Liar, liar, pants on fire…

    No wonder your credibility is in the toilet.

  3. I'm not aware that the agenda was formally amended, as Mike Laird suggests.

    Laird does not say he or anyone else on the FAC asked the agenda be modified to include the refinancing discussion.

    Mark Altmayer's handout clearly showed how bonds are being considered with impacts on the bond tax rates.

    Why would the bond tax rates be shown if it was not relevant to the discussion?

    Supt. John Burkey has publicly stated the district can issue bonds without a referendum if it is for a school expansion and not for a new school.

    Perhaps that might clear up Laird's "suspicion" they can't be issued without a referendum.

  4. Please reread my comment. I clearly state that the FAC member who brought the handout asked that it be added to the agenda. Your awareness of whether the agenda was formally amended doesn't seem relevant when you have nearly ALL of the other minor facts wrong such as who brought the document and requested that it be added to the agenda. I can't argue with your secondary or tertiary lack of knowledge of the events. Your source of information was either incomplete or inaccurate.

    I did not suggest that debt could not be issued without referendum. I suggested that any debt issued without referendum would not likley be exempt from the tax cap. Again, I don't know for sure but I believe that is one of the taxpayer safeguards in place. Either way, it was not suggested that the Marlowe debt would be refinanced in such a way that would move into into a different fund or exempt it from the tax cap.

    The discussion of the bond fund was with respect to future years where greater than the current amounts of debt become due. The discussion was longer term and theoretical. It was similar to the Marlowe debt discussion in that it is question of cash flow vs. total financing costs if portions of the debt would be refinanced to years when no debt service is due.

  5. The agenda was not formally amended. The FAC meetings are very informally run.

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