Friday, August 18, 2006

School tax increase again going to voters

The article below describes how the school district is going to the taxpayers yet again for a tax increase. Like a spoiled brat these board members just do not understand the word "NO". 70% of the voters said no to a tax increase in March. In essence, taxpayers told the board "You have enough of our money, now balance the budget!". Note that they have not had a tax rate increase in 39 years. That does not mean that tax dollars to the school district have not increased every year. The district has received more funding every year. The problem is their spending out paces their revenue.

Fiscally responsible pay increases would have avoided the budget shortfall. But the board has continually approved contracts that far outpace the CPI. This is an important distinction that must be considered before supporting a referendum. The tax rates are such that growth, appreciation and CPI increases account for increased tax dollars to the school without increasing the tax rate. Schools receive an increase in tax dollars every year without increases in tax rates. School districts are counting on their failure to properly educate people in the difference between the two so voters will blindly support their referenda.

The following article appeared in the Chicago Tribune.

School tax increase again going to voters

Janice Neumann
Published August 18, 2006

OAK LAWN -- Undeterred by the defeat of their last effort to pass a tax increase, Community High School District 229 officials have decided to resubmit the measure to voters on the November ballot.

The board voted unanimously Wednesday night to ask voters for a 22-cent increase in the education tax fund rate. The hike, which would take effect in the 2006 tax levy and affect taxpayers in 2007, would add about $102 per year to the tax bill on a $200,000 home, according to projections.

With a $2.1 million deficit looming this year, the $2.3 million the increase would add is sorely needed, Assistant Supt. Rick Hendricks said.

"It's been 39 years since the taxpayers approved a tax rate increase in the education fund," Hendricks said. "We understand it's a lot of money, but at the same time, we're trying to do our best to get enough money to cover our deficit."

Nearly 70 percent of district voters turned down a similar referendum question in March, but Hendricks said that doesn't change the need for the funding. The district has kept down costs in all its departments and doubled student registration fees to $300 and technology fees to $75, he said.

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