UPDATED: Arbor Park SD 145 Board Votes Tax Increase onto Ballot
District will ask voters to approve a 23 percent property tax increase.
Updated Jan. 14, 12:07 p.m.
Residents in Arbor Park District 145 will vote on a 23 percent property tax increase in April, after board members decided Wednesday to put it on the ballot. The increase would help combat a $1.1 million shortfall. It would generate $1.5 million in revenue, according to an e-mail sent Friday from the district's Director of Business Operations Pat Fournier to Oak Forest Patch.
The increase would raise the rate from $2.65 to $3.25 per $100 of equalized assessed value.
"Administration has taken steps over several years to increase revenues via procurement of grant dollars to fund building and equipment concerns, entry into the National School Lunch Program and by other means while reducing expenditures by more than $600,000 annually through non-renewal of staff, salary freezes for several employee groups and all non-retiring administrators, elimination of extra-curricular transportation and other measures," Fournier wrote.
The district is seeking input from a finance committe composed of parents and community leaders, she noted.
"The decision to move to referendum was a difficult one and not taken lightly as the Board of Education understands how hard hit our families have been during what has turned out to be a prolonged economic downturn," the statement reads.
Funding shortfalls on the state level make it necessary for the district to seek other sources of revenue, Fournier indicated. Previous efforts by the adminstration have reduced the impact of state shortfalls to the district's current deficit of $1.1 million at the end of the 2010 school year.
The district last asked voters to approve a property tax increase, of 60 percent, in 2009. It was voted down by a 2-to-1 ratio.