Tax Protest Suit Against Woodstock Unit School District 200 – Part 4

The fourth count of attorney Tim Dwyer’s tax protest case against Woodstock School District 200 is below:

SCHOOL DISTRICT 200 EDUCATION ACCOUNT – EXCESS LEVY

Beginning in levy year 2011, District 200 has exceeded its levying power under Illinois law.

In the early 1990’s, the Illinois General Assembly adopted the Property Tax Extension Limitation Law (“PTELL”).

The purpose of the law was to provide greater citizen control over the levy of taxes.

Taxing districts in McHenry County were subject to the terms and provisions of PTELL automatically. 35 ILCS 200/18-185.

In 1996, District 200 proposed a referendum to increase its Education levy by 43 cents per $100 of assessed valuation, and that referendum failed.

In 2007, District 200 generated $37,000,000 for its Education Fund with a levy rate of 3.427300.

In 2009, District 200 generated $38,500,000 with a levy rate of 3.445590.

In 2010, District 200 generated $36,500,000 with a levy rate of 3.423939.

In 2011, however, in order to increase its receipts of ad volerem taxes, District 200 adopted a levy rate of 3.882182 in contravention of PTELL, and raised $37,000,005.

Since 2011, District 200 has been at or around its maximum rate of 4.0, but in 2015, only raised $28,800,000 due to a decrease in the EAV.

District 200 has maximized its rate, but has, effectively lost $7,000,000-8,000,000 per year for its Education Fund.

As such, District 200 has, as demonstrated herein, substantially raised its Transportation and Special Education Funds to support its Education Fund.

Not only is this policy illegal, but the Taxpayers have suffered by virtue of the illegal tax rate adopted for the Education Fund.

Under the provisions of PTELL, District 200 was limited to the CPI, or 5%, whichever was less.

From 2011 until 2015, the CPI increases, coupled with new construction under PTELL have been de minimus.

PTELL requires that in the event a school district adopts a rate increase under the statute, it must do so with a direct referendum. 35 ILCS 200/18-205. Board of Education of Auburn Community Unit School District v. Illinois Department of Revenue, 242 Ill.2d 272 (Ill. 2011).
284. In 2011, when District 200 increased its levy rate from 3.423939 to 3.882182, it violated PTELL in that the increase exceeded 13%. In 2012, District 200 adopted a levy rate of 4.032455; in

In 2015, District 200 adopted a levy rate of 3.983128, or effectively its maximum rate of 4.0%.

But District 200 has not adopted a direct referendum, nor has it adopted a resolution notifying taxpayers of a possible back door referendum.

As such, the maximum rate eligible for District 200 is 3.472404.

Because the rate adopted by District 200 in 2015 was 3.983128, Taxpayers should be awarded a rebate of .467424.

WHEREFORE, Plaintiff Tax Protestors, pray that the Court consider the matters raised herein, find, determine and otherwise adjudicate that the Education Fund challenged herein in the 2015 levy adopted by District 200 is partially 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.

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Links to all articles about the Woodstock School District 200 tax protests for taxes to be collected in 2017 are below:

Tax Protest Suit Against Woodstock Unit School District 200 – Part 1

Tax Protest Suit Against Woodstock Unit School District 200 – Part 2

Tax Protest Suit Against Woodstock Unit School District 200 – Part 3

Tax Protest Suit Against Woodstock Unit School District 200 – Part 4

Tax Protest Suit Against Woodstock Unit School District 200 – Part 5


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