As you may have read in today's paper, a notice from the board of education regarding a public hearing regarding your property taxes will be held on Dec. 18, 2018. This notice is required by the State of Illinois to be published in the local newspaper, as well as holding a hearing if the taxing body is requesting more than five percent tax levy over the previous year's estimated assessed valuation of property.
However, this notice, as well as the presumption of increasing property taxes is misleading. The notice and hearing are based on the entire district's equalized assessed valuation (EAV), which is not determined by the school district, but rather by each county assessor's office. If we believe that the total EAV is going to increase by five percent then the board of education must hold a hearing and provide for this misleading notice. The fact is that in most cases, we do not know what the district EAV will be until the spring, although we must file our levy in December of the previous year. Therefore, after much research and direct contact with the Montgomery, Christian, and Fayette County Assessor's Office, we must "guess" the value of the EAV nearly four months before the actual numbers are provided to the school districts.
In most cases, this means the estimated EAV is more than five percent, thus a hearing and notice must be provided. If this is not done, then state law provides that our district could lose out on money that is owed us for the benefit of all students.
So, let's look at the real facts for property taxes in Unit #22. We believe that the total EAV will increase around 7.7 percent next year, thus this increase will affect seven of the nine funds that will benefit the district in many ways, especially since the state is not paying their bills. This does not mean your property taxes will increase by this amount because of the process in which EAV is calculated. Thus, the overall levy (tax rate) request will decrease by 0.07595 percent.
What do this numbers look like in real money and figures? Last year, our overall tax rate was $4.40444 per $1,000 property valuation. It is anticipated that the overall tax rate will decrease by approximately $0.07595 per $1,000 property valuation, therefore proposing a new rate of $4.32849 for $1,000 of assessed valuation. Thus, a decrease in your property tax bill payable in 2019 will benefit all of our residents.
Now, this does not take into account other taxing bodies located on your property tax bill. The main reason for the decrease is the promise the board of education made when they indicated a reduction in property taxes for bonds if the school facilities (sales) tax passed. As a result of the successful campaign to pass the sales tax, the board will be able to decrease the amount of money needed to pay back bonds in the amount of $105,000.
Therefore, as you can see the notice is misleading and confusing to everyone. The Nokomis CUSD #22 is not planning on raising your taxes next year, but rather lowering them because of the sound financial decisions that have been made to balance our budget and live within our means without eliminating programs or services to our students.
I hope this better explains the notice in today's paper and the reasoning behind the purpose of the hearing. This misleading, unwarranted, and self-serving notice and hearing is just another mandate by the Illinois General Assembly to protect their own interest. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me by phone or email. Please note that these numbers are estimates and may change depending on how property is evaluated in the spring.