Education, Local News

D161 approves preliminary 2023 tax levy

The Flossmoor School District 161 Board of Education approved a preliminary property tax levy at its Nov. 13 meeting.  A vote to approve the final levy will occur at a Dec. 4 public hearing.

The Consumer Price Index (CPI), a crucial metric used to determine the levy extension, stands at 5%. This figure will cap the total amount accessible to the district.

District 161 associate superintendent Frances LaBella told the board she expected the proposed levy for 2023 to rise by approximately 5.5%. This slight increment, exceeding the CPI by 0.5%, is attributed to new property being included, notably the expiration of the Homewood Southwest TIF district. This conclusion will contribute an estimated $500,000 in new property to the District 161 tax rolls.

“I did a lot of number juggling to make sure that we’re staying at the 5.5%,” LaBella said. She also offered her time to any of the board members who want a detailed explanation.

“If anybody wants to come in and talk to me about the particulars, it is very confusing,” she said. “I am doing my best to make it as simple as possible.”

The district’s preliminary estimate for the total levy is $25,032,102. This is the highest that the levy has been since 2018. However, this figure is subject to finalization after the district accepts the 2024 Property Tax Relief Grant and abates $2,069,858. The district plans to abate $2,283,342 for the second year of the 2023 Property Tax Relief Grant. The district will also abate the revenue recapture funds as mandated by the Senate Bill 508 legislation.

The levy funds the district’s operating expenses, including teacher salaries, school supplies, transportation, and building maintenance.

In other news, the district voted to approve the purchase of new lunch tables at all district schools for a total cost of $528,078. This expense was part of the long range facility plan and will be paid with bond proceeds.

The Nov. 13 meeting began with the swearing in of the newest board member Theartris Childress III

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