Channahon SD 17 considers abating property tax
BY JEANNE MILLSAP Correspondent October 7, 2013 7:20PM
Updated: November 9, 2013 6:26AM
CHANNAHON — The District 17 grade school board is considering a couple of financial resolutions members are expected to approve in November — both of which are designed to save taxpayers money.
One will involve abating dollars to keep property tax rates from rising too quickly. The school board has been examining the five-year financial forecast, and tax rates are predicted to take a rather sharp clip up for the 2013 and 2014 levy years, rising from 2.79 percent in 2012, to 3.05 in 2013, and 3.10 in 2014.
If the district abates $1.3 million for the 2013 levy, the tax rate would be reduced to around 2.85. The district’s finance manager Michael Schroeder told the board that abatement amount is based on the Consumers Price Index increase and the increases that would be seen from the community’s new construction and the school district’s bond schedule increase.
The district also abated dollars last year and is considering doing the same next year, as well as this year, in order to make the tax rate jump a little less sudden.
The school board in November also will vote on a resolution to liquidate the district’s unfunded liabilities of its Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund (IMRF). Since the recession began, Schroeder explained, the district went from being fully funded to being only 61 percent funded. The IMRF retirement system pays teachers’ pensions from a pool of teacher contributions, school contributions, and investment returns, which can vary widely.
As of December 2012, the funding level was about 83 percent, which meant a $1.34 million unfunded liability for the district. The district pays interest on its unfunded liability. Schroeder said liquidating, or paying off the total, of that unfunded liability would save the district around $750,000 in operational funds over the next 10 years.
The school board this week also heard a report on the district’s annual audit, which deemed District 17 “still in sound financial condition.” The accountant told board members that the audit of the 2012-2013 finances showed the district maintained a 4.0 rating out of a possible 4.0 on the Illinois State Board of Education’s scale.
Supt. Karin Evans also told the board that, as required, the district has posted teachers’ and administrators’ salaries and other compensations on its website, www.channahon.will.k12.il.us. The link to follow is “information/reports,” then “compliance reports.”