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District 428 board OKs 2018 property tax levy

December 19, 2018

DeKALB – The DeKalb School District 428 Board of Education voted on an adjusted property tax levy that would result in most taxpayers seeing no increase on their tax bills.

After no public comments, the school board voted, 6-1, in favor of the adjusted levy, which would result in no increase for an owner of a $150,000 home. All board members were present and Valerie Pena-Hernandez was the only board member who voted against the presented levy.

“I think our board can do a whole lot better at lowering our tax levy,” Pena-Hernandez said.

Cynthia Carpenter, finance director for the district, said the original levy request that was brought before the board on Nov. 20 would have abated the bond and interest levy by $1,700,000 and reduced the estimated total tax rate to

7.38 percent. That would have meant a

$4, or 10 percent, tax bill increase for the owner of a $150,000 home.

Now, Carpenter said, the levy would abate the bond and interest levy by $1,750,000 and reduced the estimated rate to 7.37 percent. That would result in no increase, but it’s impossible to make it zero for all taxpayers because of the EAV and people living in different townships.

“We’re trying to do the best we can to make it as level as possible for everybody,” Carpenter said.

Carpenter had said DeKalb County usually levies on behalf of the district to help pay back debt. She had said the district doesn’t want the county to levy the entire amount and they want to take it out of their own funds to give relief to the taxpayer.

The school district’s tax bill allocation is 62 percent, according to city documents.

Board President Victoria Newport said the school board’s goal always has been to keep taxes the same or lower them for homeowners in the district. She said she’s glad the school board is in a position now where they can do that for families.

“At this point, we have to give our taxpayers a break,” Newport said.

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