School Boards Fight Tax Relief with Tax Dollars

Not only are townships and municipalities using taxpayer dollars to lobby against the interests of their taxpayers, so are school boards.

And they are all paying for their lobbying with taxpayer-financed dues.

Read what is posted on the Illinois Association of School Boards’ web site:


ACTION NEEDED ON PTELL LEGISLATION

The House Revenue and Finance Committee approved a bill that will significantly limit a school district’s access to local property tax revenues. For school districts in those counties that are under the Property Tax Extension Limitation Law (PTELL), commonly referred to as property tax caps, HB 3793 (Franks, D-Woodstock) would limit taxing districts to zero growth if property values are declining overall. Specifically, it p rovides that, if the total equalized assessed value (EAV) of all taxable property in the taxing district for the current levy year is less than the total EAV of all taxable property in the taxing district for the previous levy year, then the extension limitation is (a) 0% or (b) the rate of increase approved by voters.

The bill was approved on a 6-1-1 vote in the committee and was sent to the full House of Representatives for consideration. A vote will likely be taken on the bill today (Wednesday) or Thursday.

School administrators and board members are urged to call their State Representative and ask for a “no” vote on HB 3793.

The bill will directly affect school districts in property tax-capped counties by not allowing for any increase in the property tax extension, ignoring escalating budget factors that are beyond the control of the school district such as insurance programs (property, liability, unemployment, workers’ compensation), employee benefits, fuel supplies, food for lunch program, etc.

Indirectly, every school district in the state could be affected as access to local revenues is taken into account in the school funding formula. The “double whammy” provision, which provides additional state money to school districts under property tax caps that cannot access the full amount of local property valuation, could increase dramatically if HB 3793 is enacted. Shifting additional resources to fund the “double whammy” provision will further shortchange the state aid formula which provides the majority of funding for most school districts as well as funding for mandated categorical grants. State aid and categorical funding is already being prorated for the current fiscal year.


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