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DeKalb School District 428 Board to discuss TIF 3, tax levy

November 6, 2018

DeKALB – Preliminary numbers released by DeKalb School District 428 officials show that the district’s overall tax rate is expected to decline for 2018 property taxes payable next year, if estimates from the DeKalb County Supervisor of Assessments hold true.

District officials are recommending a $58.4 million levy request, and district board members could vote to accept the recommendation at their meeting at 7 p.m. Tuesday in the Board Room at the Education Center, 901 S. Fourth St. The request would be about 3.9 percent higher than last year.

The assessor’s estimates peg the total equalized assessed value for the district this year at $732.2 million. Existing property in the district increased in value by 4.1 percent, the records show, with new construction adding about $2.6 million to the total, records show. Taxing bodies routinely aim high with tax levy requests in order to ensure they capture all the revenue they can from new construction.

Tax cap laws limit the increase in revenue the district can collect from existing property to the rate of inflation, which this year is 2.1 percent. Because existing property increased in value by 4.1 percent, the tax rate could go down next year.

Cynthia Carpenter, district director of business and finance, will report on the 2018 proposed tax levy .

“Basically, this time of year is tax levy season for school districts, so all [districts] go through this process,” Carpenter explained.

The district’s tax rate has decreased as a result of increases in the value of property in the district, which resumed in 2015 after dropping during the Great Recession. Property in District 428 has increased in value by more than $111 million since 2015, an 18 percent jump, according to district documents.

Carpenter said the board will decide whether to approve the estimates for the tax levy in Tuesday’s meeting, which will lead into a public hearing scheduled for Dec. 4.

Another part of the tax levy calculation that will be discussed is DeKalb’s plan to create a third tax increment financing district, and the 2018 proposed tax levy in a scheduled board meeting on Tuesday.

District 428 attorney Gino Galluzo and district Superintendent Jaime Craven will present the intergovernmental agreement for the new proposed district to the board. If the DeKalb City Council goes ahead with creation of the district, it would freeze the property tax revenue that District 428 receives from the area for a period of at least 23 years.

“The main components [of the presentation] are just looking at closing the agreement for the remainder of TIF 1 and [TIF]2, and what the arrangements are in the proposed TIF 3 if that were to pass,” Craven said.

The first and second TIF districts for the city are set to expire at the end of this year and in 2021, respectively. In September, Craven and other district officials alleged the city had misused public funds from the TIF districts by between $500,000 about $800,000 a year for several years.

“This is the first time [the school board] will see the [TIF] agreement in totality,” Carpenter, said.

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