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Local

Dist. 1 board approves tentative property tax levy

Increased value of Dresden Station pushes levy higher

COAL CITY — Members of the Coal City Community Unit School Dist. 1 unanimously approved the districts tentative 2012 levy at their meeting Monday night.

School districts file tax levies to make sure they capture all available property tax dollars once the actual Equalized Assessed Value, or EAV, is determined. School district budgets are based on local property taxes.

The proposed total levy for 2012 (payable in 2013) is $23,592,232, which is about a 13 percent increase from the previous year. The previous year’s levy calculation was $20,569,060, with an extension of $20,569,644.

Because the proposed levy exceeds the previous year’s tax extensions by more than 5 percent, the board must hold a public hearing, which is set for Monday, Dec. 17.

District Director of Business and Technology Jason Smith said the increase is in line with the increase in the EAV of Dresden.

Superintendent Dr. Kent Bugg said the increase also falls in line with district plans to tackle long-term debt. The interest in doing so has emerged as a recommendation from the District Finance Committee, which met at the board’s request in October to review the district’s finances in the midst of its negotiations with Exelon for a new tax assessment agreement.

“The District Finance Committee made a recommendation that we focus on long-term debt while at the same time maintaining a responsible tax rate, which would be by far the lowest in Grundy County still,” he said.

Bugg also said reducing the debt was something that emerged as a priority for the committee.

“The finance committee, based upon the economy and Dresden values, thought that the district focusing on long-term debt was something that was very important and so that’s what we’re going to try to do, is work on mitigating long-term debt and everything’s reflected in our tentative levies,” he said.

In other action, the board unanimously approved an addition to the district’s athletic guidelines to allow students to play on a school athletic team and a non-school team at the same time. The change reflected a change in the Illinois Elementary School Association’s bylaws.

The change states that students who do both are to give precedence to the school athletic program, and that if a student is absent from any school team activities to attend a non-school activity, the absence is unexcused.

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