TAX ABATEMENT FAQs
The Board of Education (BOE) is considering an option to abate a portion of the 2016 tax levy from the Bond and Interest Fund. The estimated abatement amount will be approximately $3.9 million. This means that the real estate bills will be less than they would be without an abatement.
What will the 2016 abatement mean for me? For Cook, Kane and DuPage County residents, it will mean that your overall school district portion of the tax bill will not change from last year if all other factors remain constant. Each year the tax burden shifts between counties, which may cause an increase or decrease in your tax bill.
What is an abatement? The real estate tax process is complicated, with many moving parts. An abatement is a process where the taxing body (the school district) submits a request to the county clerk's office prior to March 1 indicating that it declines to levy (request the funds) the total amount designated to pay 100 percent of its Bond and Interest payments. The clerks then deduct the abatement amount from the total amount needed to pay all of the Bond and Interest payments for the upcoming fiscal year. The District will then transfer money from the funds that it utilizes to pay for day to day operations of the school district to the Bond and Interest Fund to offset the abatement amount and pay the debt that is due that was not funded by the levy process.
Why not just lower the levy? Just lowering the levy could negatively impact students and the organization and in the long term may put additional pressure on homeowners to maintain the appropriate funding levels needed in the future. The tax cap laws do not allow for taxing bodies (the school district) to simply lower its request in one year without permanently losing access to the funds in the future if the need arises or an emergency needs to be addressed. Additionally, with $5.1 billion in building assets and mechanical systems, the future infrastructure needs will not decline. While there is an interest in moving away from borrowing to fund current capital projects, lowering the levy versus an abatement will place additional future borrowing pressures on the homeowners’ tax bills if the District does not have the ability to fund the projects from its operating funds due to choosing to lower the levy versus using the abatement process.
For more information, you can view the 2016 Tentative Tax Levy Presentation.