Minooka grade school tax levy adjusted to make up for tax shortfall
By Kris Stadalsky Correspondent January 28, 2013 11:04AM
Updated: March 5, 2013 6:07AM
Taxpayers will pay about 5 or 6 cents more per $100 of assessed value on their property than originally anticipated to the Minooka Grade School District.
All but one school board member recently voted to approve a supplemental levy. The district lost more than $1.3 million in its bond and interest fund due to loss of revenue from local industry.
The biggest portion of the shortage, $1,175,648, is a result of Equistar Chemical’s bankruptcy proceedings. The district, as well as other taxing bodies, was not paid its portion of property taxes for the years 2008 and 2009.
Meanwhile, Dynergy-Kendall Power won a dispute over its valuation and the district had to refund $126,807 for taxing years 2001 through 2011.
The bonds were issued in 2008 to pay for the construction of two schools and the remodeling of two others.
The district has been paying for the bonds out of the general fund, which includes education, because of the deficit in the bond and interest fund, Superintendent Al Gegenheimer said.
“We are shorted $1.3 million and we have to get it back,” he said.
To ease the burden on taxpayers, the district is collecting the money over a three-year period instead of all at once. For the 2012 through 2014 tax years the district will collect $434,152 a year with the supplemental levy.
After the third year, the supplemental levy will expire. The bonds are scheduled to be paid off by 2020.
Board member Doug Martin said he voted no because he believes it’s premature to change the levy until a settlement is finalized with industrial company Lyondell Basell, which is also appealing its property value.
Gegenheimer said the supplemental levy will not change no matter what the Lyondell Basell settlement is.
The school district and other taxing bodies are very close to a settlement with Lyondell Basell, Gegenheimer said.