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Questions about your tax bill?

As the first tax bills arrive with the new CCSD 89 tax rate, some residents have questions about the rate change that was approved by voters in November 2018. 

In November 2018, the voters in Community Consolidated School District 89 approved a 40-cent tax-rate increase. This was the first time CCSD 89 had a tax-rate question on the ballot since 1986.

There are multiple factors that can affect your overall tax bill, including: changes in the assessed value of your home, exemptions, changes in the rates of other taxing bodies, and the area’s total property values. There is an explanation and example of how your tax bill might be affected on the CCSD 89 website here: www.ccsd89.org/financeFAQ

CCSD 89 first began talking about a referendum in 2011. Several committees made up of residents, parents, and staff looked at the nearly $3 million in cuts the district had made since 2009, and examined how rising enrollment and increasing costs were affecting the district’s budget.

The issue reached a critical point during the 2017-18 school year. The district determined enrollment and cost increases meant it was necessary to change the tax rate to maintain services, or begin cutting educational services.

In November, voters approved the referendum. Even after the tax-rate increase, CCSD 89’s tax rate remains the second lowest tax rate among the six Glenbard feeder districts. The district remains committed to delivering high-quality education, protecting taxpayer resources, listening to residents, and empowering young learners.

To see the referendum information that was shared ahead of the November election, go to www.ccsd89.org/referendum

If you have questions about your tax rate, please contact Matt Hanley, CCSD 89 Communications, (630) 545-3581 or mhanley@ccsd89.org.

 

Below are answers to some frequently asked questions:

 

Why did the district ask voters for a tax-rate change?

In January 2018, the district convened a Superintendent’s Finance Committee to examine the district’s financial status and priorities. The committee looked at the nearly $3 million in cuts the district has made since 2009 and examined how rising enrollment and increasing costs affected the district’s budget. After three months of reviewing financial data, the members of the Finance Committee – made up of parents, residents, and staff – recommended two options to the Board of Education:

  • Option A: Increase revenues in order to maintain comprehensive, high-quality educational programming. Increasing revenues would allow the district to avoid cuts to programs that directly impact students.
  • Option B: Reduce programs and increase fees. The district would have needed to make about $1.2 million in cuts during the 2019-20 school year. These cuts could have included reductions of: social work services, band and orchestra, library staff, gifted services, administration, and full-day kindergarten. The cuts could also have resulted in larger class sizes. The cuts would be more significant in subsequent years.

The Board asked administrators and the Superintendent’s Engagement Committee to gather more feedback. The district hosted three community meetings open to the public, conducted phone and online surveys, and sent multiple mailers to homes to gather feedback.

The majority of community members who attended those meetings said they valued fiscal responsibility, but did not want cuts that would affect programming and potentially property values in the district.

 

Why did the district put a 40-cent tax rate change on the ballot?

The 40-cent rate change factors in the cost of additional staffing that will be needed for the district’s increasing enrollment. The district has grown by 16.9 percent since 2012. The number of students is projected to grow another 12.2 percent over the next four years.

The 40-cent rate increase is estimated to maintain the district’s current programming for at least 10 years. The district’s previous tax-rate referendum, passed in 1986, was also projected to last 10 years. Thanks to a conservative fiscal approach, that referendum sustained the district for more than three decades.

 

Was the community involved before the referendum vote?

The district had finance and community-engagement committees study the district’s finances prior to the Board placing a referendum question on the ballot. The committees were made up of parents and staff, as well as residents without children in CCSD 89 schools. There were four community presentations, as well as presentations at school PTC meetings.

The district also conducted phone and online surveys of residents. Most of the respondents to the online surveys had children attending CCSD 89 schools. Most of the respondents to the phone surveys did not have children in CCSD 89 schools. In the phone surveys, 56.9 of residents said they would support a 40-cent referendum. This was one of the main factors board members considered when deciding whether to ask voters about the next steps. You can read the online survey results: http://bit.ly/2MSOcjs You can read the phone survey results: http://bit.ly/2LpdUs3

 

When was the last time CCSD 89 passed a referendum?

The district has had an operating-rate referendum on the ballot since 1986, the longest time of any Glenbard 87 elementary feeder district. All of the other elementary feeder districts passed at least one operating-rate referendum in that time; some passed two operating-rate referendums.

You can see a history of operating-rate referendums for Glenbard 87 elementary feeder districts on slide 51 here: https://bit.ly/2MgoaUe

The district’s last operating-rate referendum was expected to be sufficient for 10 years. Through efficient operations, the district worked within that tax rate for 32 years.

 

Has the district tried to make any cuts?

CCSD 89 made nearly $3 million in cuts and reductions in the 10 years prior to placing the referendum question on the ballot by pooling purchasing resources (examples: supplies, insurance, transportation, utilities, legal services), cutting back staff, and more. You can learn more about those cuts and reductions starting on slide 22 here: https://bit.ly/2MgoaUe

 

What is the current tax rate?

Prior to the referendum, the operating tax rate for CCSD 89 was 2.9849%, and the total tax rate was 3.3184%. The difference between the two rates (0.3335%) represents the rate for repayment of bonds and interest. The county clerk sets the bonds-and-interest portion of the rate, based on the district’s total equalized assessed valuation and the repayment schedule on the district’s existing bonds. CCSD 89’s long-term bonds will be fully paid off in February 2023. After the referendum was approved by voters, the operating tax rate changed from 2.9849% to 3.3849%.

To see a broader frequently asked questions document that was published prior to the November vote, go to: www.ccsd89.org/referendumFAQ

 

Posted May 7, 2019