D-428 board to vote on TIF 3, tax levy

November 19, 2018

DeKALB – The DeKalb school board will vote Tuesday to vote on an intergovernmental agreement in relation to a third tax increment financing district, as well as the 2018 tax levy.

The intergovernmental agreement is set for the city’s Central Business District TIF 3, which has seen some contentious public debate throughout the county. Last week, DeKalb County Chairman Mark Pietrowski Jr. said he would recommend the board oppose the IGA for TIF 3.

During the Nov. 6 school board meeting, District 428 Superintendent Jaime Craven gave an informational presentation to the board about the IGA surrounding TIF 3.

Craven has said that presentation was “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.”

The board will also hear a second pass at establishing a 2018 tax levy rate, after the initial presentation – which was meant to be settled in the Nov. 6 meeting – fell short.

“The board wanted to see other options [for the tax levy], and didn’t approve what we put out there,” said Cynthia Carpenter, the district’s director of business and finance.

On Nov. 6, Carpenter gave the board the option between two scenarios for the tax levy, neither of which was approved.

The district’s tax rate has decreased as a result of increases property values 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.

“When you have a higher estimated assessed value [EAV] for property, the tax rate goes down,” Carpenter said. “But just because the tax rate does down, doesn’t mean the tax bill goes down.”

She has prepared additional material to present Tuesday night.

″[The board] wants to look at some options that would give relief to taxpayers,” Carpenter said.

A tax levy public hearing – originally scheduled for Dec. 4 – will now be pushed back to Dec. 18, which Carpenter said will give the board “plenty of time” to file the tax levy by the Dec. 26 deadline.

The school board will meet at 7 p.m. at the district’s education center, 901 S. Fourth St.

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