District to Seek Level Taxes for Tax Year 2019

Board of Education to Seek Level Taxes for Tax Year 2019
Posted on 12/12/2019
The Board of Education for Waukegan Community Unit School District # 60 voted this week to adopt a 2019 Tax Levy with the intention of keeping taxes level with 2018, while the District waits to hear if it has been selected for a Property Tax Relief Grant (PTRG) from the Illinois State Board of Education. 

Earlier this year, District 60 applied for the PTRG through the State. If District 60 is selected for the grant, the District may be approved for more than $13 million over two years ($6,578,748/yr). In year one the State would reimburse District 60 $6.5 million, while the District would abate (or not seek) $6.5M in taxes possibly resulting in little to no tax increase to homeowners. In year two, District 60 is required to abate $6.5M under the same grant award with the reimbursement coming via Evidence-Based Funding dollars, WPS60 is again required to abate $6.5M. 

If the District is not successful in securing the PTRG -- a decision on which is expected next month from ISBE -- the Board of Education intends to still keep taxing levels flat with 2018. That process was started this week with a Public Hearing on the 2019 Tax Levy. 

Following a Public Hearing on December 10, the Board voted to adopt a property tax levy of $55 million. The levied amount is 4.997% over last year’s extension; however, it is customary to levy a higher percentage than what will be realized. The District’s actual tax rate increase will likely be around 1.9%  - which is in line with the Consumer Price Index -- when it receives its extension from the County in the spring. The District plans to  seek an abatement resolution for any amount in excess of Tax Year 2018 extension.

Either through the PTRG or through a tax abatement, homeowners have a potential to see no increase on the District 60 portion of their property tax bill, depending on any changes to their home’s valuation. This year will be the first in many years that the District will not seek an increase in taxes.
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