Work Samples

  • Megann Horstead

D161 officials adopt property tax levy of $30.3 million

The Summit Hill District 161 Board of Education unanimously approved the 2017 property tax levy of $30.3 million at its Dec. 13 regular meeting.

This year’s estimated levy amount, excluding debt, represents a 3.98 percent increase over the prior year’s request. With payments to the District’s debt service included, that figure rises to 4.5 percent.

Officials held a public hearing ahead of taking board action, and no constituents commented.

State law requires taxing bodies to invite public input on its property tax levy only when an increase of 5 percent or more than the prior year’s amount is presented.

“We’ve always done one just to be transparent with the levy,” said Doug Wiley, director of business and transportation.

The levy is meant to support several of the District’s funds by contributing $23.5 million for education; $3.2 million for operations and maintenance; $1.3 million for transportation; $315,000 for working cash; $250,000 for Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund; $512,500 for Social Security; $225,000 for tort/immunity; and $465,000 for special education.

District 161 predicates its resolution on Will County estimates that show approximately $6.5 million in new construction and a change of roughly 3 percent in the equalized assessed valuation of existing property.

The consumer price index, or the rate of inflation, of 2.1 percent is also taken into account.

Wiley said the District had a tax rate of 4.11 percent last year, but they won’t be able to confirm how, if at all, that changes this time around until the spring of 2018, at which point Will County will have completed review of appeals.

In a pair of unanimous votes, the Board of Education’s approval authorizes the District to file its tax levy resolution and related documents to the Will County Clerk’s office no later than Dec. 26.

Superintendent encourages parents to complete 5Essentials Survey

Also at the meeting, the Superintendent Barb Rains took time to get out the word about the District’s 5 Essential Survey, a survey of school climate and learning conditions.

“We’re again joining [the Illinois State Board of Education] in the statewide 5Essentials Survey,” she said.

The measure is meant to give parents and middle school grade-level students a voice on how the schools are doing.

Rains said the survey gives the District a chance to determine what it can do to improve.

Parents are encouraged to take time to provide input through Jan. 18, 2018. Following that, reports will become available in March 2018.

Round it up

A brief recap of action and discussion from the Dec. 13 regular meeting of the Summit Hill District 161 Board of Education:

  • Officials tabled the authorization of a software maintenance agreement for Metasys System. Board action is postponed until a legal review is completed.

  • The board established a set of dates for the superintendent’s evaluation process, which began Dec. 13 and continues through March 14, 2018.

  • Officials approved a payment in the amount of $35,055 to account for the completion of a Wi-fi project at Dr. Julian Rogus School.