New Lenox district 122 votes to prevent property tax spike
BY ERIN GALLAGHER Correspondent April 21, 2013 11:01PM
The New Lenox School District 122 Board argued then voted 5 to 2 to refinance bonds Wednesday to prevent a property tax spike. President Nick DiSandro abruptly ended Member Maureen Broderick’s random questions and forced the vote.
Had the board not acted, the tax increase would have spiked from 84 cents in 2018 to $1.54 in 2023. By restructuring, residents will instead see a smaller increase to 99 cents in 2020 and remains that rate, pushing the debt out an additional three years to 2031. Only Broderick and Member Sue Smith dissented.
The cost for issuing the working cash bonds is $8,345,500. The cost associated with flattening the tax is $39,082,500. The total cost for flattening the tax rates from 2018 to 2027 and the working cash bonds is $47,428,000. Without the refinance, residents would have seen a significant tax increase, Business Manager Harold Huang said.
“For example, this refinancing will save the owner of a $300,000 (house) nearly $1700 in the school district portion of their property tax bill,” Huang later said.
Arguments erupted when Broderick repeatedly complained she got the documents at 5:40 p.m. and did not have time to review. The documents have been identical for months, DiSandro countered. As with any loan, the down-to-the-penny figure comes only when sitting down to the table, he said. Members received several email updates for a week.
The issue had been slated for a vote in March. It was pulled last minute due to interest rate fluctuation. Waiting saved the district over $2 million, Huang said.
For several minutes Wednesday, Broderick posed questions ranging from the 2008 tax rates to charges associated with 2011 bonds.
“This is not new, we’ve discussed this. We have beat this horse to death,” DiSandro told Broderick. “The numbers have changed since March, they’ve gotten better and in your process of attempting to dirty it up, you’re asking questions that will not even change your vote.”
“I just want to confirm we are not doing anything out of the ordinary,” said Member Pat Martino. “This was recently done by Lincoln-Way to refinance their debt. It is a common practice to help lower the tax rates so we don’t spike it for our property owners.”
Smith declined an interview. Broderick issued a statement, then retracted it because the figures were wrong, she said.