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School District 101 Predicts Decrease in Property Taxes in 2014

Additional revenue from the Premium Outlet Mall TIF expiration could translate to more funds for operations and a slightly lower tax bill for residents.

A windfall from the ending of the Aurora Premium Outlet Mall TIF District likely means your property taxes in Batavia will go down in 2014, school officials said this week. 

The Batavia School District 101 Board of Education is scheduled to vote on the proposed 2013 tax levy at its Dec. 17, 2013, regular board meeting following a public hearing which is scheduled at 7 p.m. at the Rosalie Jones Administration Center.

The Aurora Tax-Increment Financing District No. 2 has expired, which means the School District can now collect on the full value of the improved property, according to a report in the Daily Herald.

School officials said in a Friday press release that current projections estimate a decrease in the average tax bill for existing property owners. The release did not provide a dollar figure regarding the property-tax savings for the average homeowner.

The district will tally the outlet mall property as new construction this year. The Daily Herald said the estimated value of the property was set at $95.68 million compared to a total assessed value was $226,777 in 1989, when the property was farmland.

The property tax levy is the amount of money a school district requests to be raised from property taxes in order to run the schools. In School District 101, property taxes account for more than 81 percent of revenues.

Under tax-cap legislation, the district can only increase its levy by a maximum of 1.7 percent this year for existing property. The cap allows an increase of up to 5 percent or a percentage based on the consumer price index, whichever is least.

However, it can levy more than that for revenue from new construction. The Daily Herald article said the School District received $55.43 million in property taxes for operations last year and is asking for $62.6 million this year — an increase of almost 13 percent.

Some residents at the November School Board meeting protested, saying the district should live within its present operational budgets and hold the line on the levy and further reduce the School District portion of residents' property tax bills.

The average resident's bill spiked sharply between 2011 and 2012, according to the School District's chart, from a little less than $4,100 to more than $4,500.

But officials indicate the additional dollars would compensate for previous belt-tightening.

"The addition of the tax revenue from the Aurora TIF #2 properties has allowed the Board of Education to begin to moderately restore some of the reductions made over the past four years, especially in the area of class size and instructional support," the District 101 press release said.

The School District website says that, since 2010, the board has reduced programs such as Full Day Kindergarten, Elementary Spanish, and the Building Trades II class, as well as increasing class size targets by two at each level. 

"The expected revenue from this TIF led the Board to adopt the FY13-14 Capital and Staffing plan in March 2013, which added 7.5 teachers and 3.5 instructional coaches dedicated to enhancing instruction and improving student achievement. These improvements were adopted as part of the 2013-14 budget in September 2013," the website says.

For additional information and resources regarding the tax levy, please visit www.bps101.net/levy

JT December 09, 2013 at 08:04 AM
Say no to tax hikes, PERIOD. Unlike a famous person who used this phrase, I do mean it. It has been a long time since I have heard that the average citizen got a pay raise, and to keep on taking from taxpayers at this time would and should be unthinkable. We have to live on budgets, and find ways to do so. When you keep on taking, at what point do people say "I think its time to move, I cannot afford to live here". You will then have a real problem with the "school budget". And I just might add, we need to rethink this Common Core Curriculum. Everything I have read about this is just plain wrong. There are states now removing this from their systems. Instead of asking for more money, try stop spending money on this new curriculum that will make our kids into zombies of the state. More information on this is at www.stopcommoncoreillinois.org.
Dan van Loon December 09, 2013 at 09:33 AM
For an alternate view please go to lowerthelevy.com.
Sylvia Keppel December 09, 2013 at 11:07 AM
The school district is trying to put lipstick on a pig. At their last regular meeting, they said their levy would result in a $20-$28 decrease in property taxes. We're supposed to be happy about that after our taxes went up $460 (average) when they broke their promise that the $75 million referendum wouldn't raise taxes?? If they want to make good on their promise, the mall revenue (the mall doesn't add any students) given back to the taxpayers would result in a $400 decrease. We need a break. LOWER THE LEVY. Email the school board, and if you can, go to the public hearing Dec. 17. Visit www.lowerthelevy.com for details.
Robert Wolford December 09, 2013 at 05:03 PM
Why would it mean more funds for operations if their is debt to be paid? Plus all the points regarding the money is the tax payers and it should go back to us.
btown95 December 10, 2013 at 11:40 AM
Sylvia, you are on here constantly complaining about everything the school district does. If you have all the answers, why don't you run for school board?
Dan van Loon December 10, 2013 at 12:34 PM
@Btown95. Rather than snipe at the person with a snarky comment please contribute a point of view that directly counters Sylvia's comments. Give us something substantive to consider that is factual and win your case. You might also use your real name on your post. Thanks. Your Batavia neighbor, Dan.

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