Local News

H-F passes 2017 levy with one ‘no’ vote

District 233 board member Annette Bannon cast a “no” vote on each of the five resolutions dealing with the 2017 tax levy for Homewood-Flossmoor High School.
At its board meeting Tuesday, members voted 6-1 to approve  the board approved the measures setting the levy and complying with state regulations. The taxes will be collected in 2018.
The 2017 tax levy of $38,293,000 reflects a 2.5 percent increase. Under Illinois tax cap rules, the district could not go above 2.1 percent matching the Consumer Price Index, plus 0.4 percent for new property now on the tax rolls. 
Over the past five years the levy has increased an average of 1.47 percent, according to Ken Parchem, H-F business manager. Increases in District 233 property assessments, including the new Meijer superstore in Flossmoor, will make a higher levy possible, he said.
The levy was approved unanimously at the Nov. 21 meeting, but at Tuesday’s meeting Bannon explained her vote saying she had concerns about property taxes rising due to the levy and didn’t feel she was given enough information on how the board might act to reduce taxes.
“I needed reassurance of an offset for taxes, like are we going to decrease something,” Bannon told the Chronicle. She said she’s heard complaints about high property taxes.  Her question is: “What are we going to do to hold them down?”
Before casting her “yes” vote, board member Beth Larocca said she also had concerns but was voting yes because without approval of the levy District 233 would not be able to collect any taxes in 2018. 
As support from the Illinois legislature for schools has declined, property taxes have gone up. It’s estimated about 70 percent of H-F’s operations are covered by property tax revenues. 
Not every property owner will see an increase, as property values in the district also are expected to rise. Local assessments are expected to rise next year for the first time since 2011, Parchem said.

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