205 School Board approves tax levy

The District 205 Board of Education approved the 2018 Tax Levy at Monday night’s meeting.

The board considered two options, the first being a $21.8 million levy that would see a tax rate of $4.94. The second option would keep the levy pretty close to last year’s amount at $20.7 million, and a tax rate of about $4.84.

District 205’s Assistant Superintendent for Finances and Operations, Jennifer Hamm, told the board that there were not any projected sources of new revenue, but she did warn that some federal funds might be decreasing.

“There is a potential loss in Title Two funding that’s kind of been on the table for a couple years now,” Hamm told the board. “We did see a $50,000 decrease this year from the previous year. So Title Two is kind of in peril from a federal standpoint, so we’re unsure with that.”

Hamm also told the board that in addition to the reduction in money to the district, the board was anticipating an increase in expenses of about $1.4 million in the next school year.

“So we’re going to see, across-the-board, approximately 3-percent increase in salaries, which is an additional [$878,895]. 3-percent in benefits, which is an additional [$148,211]. Our contracted transportation services came in with our bid opening, and we’ll be approving that next month at a 7.6-percent increase just for next year.”

That transportation increase is expected to be $143,324. Additionally, Hamm expects CPI increases for all other items to come in at $197,836, which would bring the grand total of all anticipated increases in expenses for the 2019-2020 school year to be $1,368,176.

The board also was informed that if the second option was approved, that the board would be spending from reserves in several funds.

In the end, board members approved Option A by a 5 to 2 vote, with Maury Lyon and Wayne Statham voting against.

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