The District 153 school board approved a 2022 levy request of $22,835,009 at its Dec. 12 board meeting. It is a 22.43% increase over the 2021 levy.
The budget is divided into several accounts, and school districts designate what the tax levy will fund. Although the district requests a certain amount, the final number is set by Cook County.
The 2022 levy reflects an increase of 25.15% in the corporate and special purpose property tax line item to $19,610,909. In 2021 the final amount from Cook County was $15,670,267. The Homewood schools is requesting the increase because of the recent referendum passed in November that allows for an increase in the foundational rate, according to John Gibson, chief school business official.
The district also is requesting $3,224,100 for debt service and public building commission leases. That represents an 8.12% increase from the previous year.
Gibson said under Illinois property tax cap law, District 153 can increase its levy by only the Consumer Price Index (CPI) or 5%, whichever is less. Despite CPI registering at 7% in 2021, the district could raise only an additional 5%. Gibson said that came to approximately $874,000.
Gibson is retiring in June. The school board will begin a search in January for his replacement.
The board also approved a $12,000 contract with RJM Consulting Services to help with the district’s next strategic plan for 2023-2028.