The Oak Park District 97 and OPRF District 200 school boards will both adopt their final 2019 tax levies in December. 

District 200 administrators recommended a tentative tax levy of $73.2 million, which is a nearly 8-percent increase over the 2018 tax extension of around $68 million. In a Nov. 12 memo, Cyndi Sidor, the district’s chief school business official, stressed that “the impact to residents’ property tax bills will be limited to a 1.9 percent increase,” which is the rate of the Consumer Price Index, which is used in Illinois to cap tax increases.  

During their meeting on Nov. 12, District 200 school board members asked Sidor to explore a range of options for further reducing the impact to taxpayers. 

Those options include one (or perhaps a combination of) of three scenarios, such as abating a portion of around $800,000 in extra tax revenue that’s due the district from the expiration of the Madison Street and Downtown tax increment financing (TIF) districts, abating some of the $3.8 million in state funds from a Property Tax Relief Grant the district was awarded in February and freezing the levy at the rate of CPI growth. 

At a regular meeting on Nov. 21, the D200 school board voted on an estimated levy request of $71.3 million, a 5.7 percent increase over the final 2018 tax extension of $67.9 million. The district will levy for the Consumer Price Index, which reflects a 1.9 percent tax increase. 

“The Board requested capturing new property from the TIF, which does not increase the District’s portion of property tax bills, plus a nominal increase for taxable new property in the District,” Sidor explained in a recent memo. “Based on historical data, we are projecting total new taxable property to be $123.8 million ($120 million from the TIF and $3.8 million from new property).” The D200 board is expected to take a final vote on the levy adoption at their meeting on Dec. 19. 

The D97 school board unanimously approved a tentative total tax levy that represents a 9.7-percent increase. The total tentative levy is around $80 million, according to Rob Grossi, the district’s financial consultant. The tax levy increase, however, is only 1.9 percent for taxpayers who live outside of Oak Park’s two expiring TIF districts. 

Grossi said the district’s 2019 tax levy will capture all of the available taxes from the expiring TIFs. The district will get about $4.1 million from the expiration of the downtown TIF and $1.2 million from the expiration of the Madison TIF. The district will get an additional $5.7 million from new taxable property. 

The D97 board is expected to take a vote on the final 2019 tax levy at a regular meeting on Dec. 10. 

CONTACT: michael@oakpark.com 

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