To the Editor:
At Monday's Geneva School District Board meeting, the 2011 tax levy was presented and a resolution was passed considering the amounts needed to be levied for the tax year 2011.
The entire presentation is linked below, but here are the highlights:
The tax levy consists of the following elements:
- EAV—the equalized assessment value of all tax paying property in the school district. In 2010 the EAV decreased 4.5 percent, it is estimated that it will decrease another 3.0 percent for 2011. EAV started dropping in 2009 and will continue to drop for at least another three years.
- New Construction—this number falls outside the tax cap and needs to be captured on it own. In 2010 the amount was $10.7 million, the estimate for 2011 is $12.5 million. In 2005 the amount for new construction was $52.4 million.
- Tax Cap—this is the maximum percentage amount that the district can levy. For 2011 it is 1.5 percent above last year's levy amount. This number is either 5 percent or the Consumer Price Index (CPI) which was 1.5 percent last December. The December number for the previous year is used to determine the CPI.
- CPI—the CPI for the last three years were; 1 percent in 2009, 2.7 percent in 2010, 1.5 percent in 2011.
- Debt—long term debt repayment is excluded from the tax cap maximum. In 2010 the debt repayment was $14,771,053 and will be $16,138,595 for 2011. This represents an increase of $2,838,401 from year-to-year. The $16.1 million must be collected, no if ands or buts.
So where does all this leave us? No matter what the district decides, your property taxes will increase. The School District will levy about $2,838,401 more than last year ($1,367,542 for debt and $1,470,859 for the education fund).
In an attempt to reduce the amount of the overall increase, the district does have several options to choose. These would include combinations of the following; take the full 1.5 percent levy amount, don't take the 1.5 percent levy, use the money added to the educational fund to reduce the debt and use some of the current reserve funds (will be $48 million by June 30, 2012). The are detailed in the link below.
So the questions is: What option is best for the short and long term of the community and the School District? The final decision lies with the board members, but they are willing to listen to suggestions from the community. The tax levy vote will be taken on Monday, Dec. 12, immediately after a public hearing is held. Please plan to attend the meeting on the 12th, but if you have suggestions for the board, you can e-mail them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Presentation at School Board Meeting