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Levy hearing scheduled for Minooka grade school

MINOOKA – A truth in taxation hearing is scheduled for Dec. 18 by Minooka Grade School District 201 before the board of education votes on the 2013 tax levy.

The hearing is required by law because the district is requesting a 7.1 percent increase over the 2012 levy, District Superintendent Al Gegenheimer said at Wednesday’s board of education meeting.

Any request of 5 percent or more than the previous year requires a public hearing.

The hearing will be at 6:45 p.m.

The primary reason for the levy increase is the district’s debt continues to rise as property values in the community decline. The anticipated total EAV drop this year is about 3 percent.

Building the district’s most recent schools has “saddled our local taxpayers with a lot of debt,” Gegenheimer said.

More than 25 percent of the district’s tax rate goes to paying back building construction debt.

While the district will request a 7.1 levy increase, the amount expected to be received will be closer to 4 percent. The actual amount of property taxes will not be known until late March or early April.

Gegenheimer said he is requesting more than anticipated to make sure the district’s monetary needs are met. If the levy is short, the district’s tax rate would drop, leaving it unable to make expenses for the next year.

At this time Gegenheimer estimates the total tax rate to be no higher than $3.1649 per $100 of owned property, which would equal a 4.7 percent increase over last year.

At that rate, property owners could reasonably expect their taxes to the grade school district to remain about the same.

Grant will save $42K

Thanks to rebates and incentives, Minooka Grade School District will get more than $42,000 worth of lighting projects completed and come out ahead with a credit of $4,105.

The lighting retro-fit project for Minooka Junior High, awarded to Crescent Electric Supply Company, will cost $42,703 including materials and labor.

With rebates and incentives through the Energy Star Program, a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency program, the district will receive $46,808 toward the project. After all bills are paid, the district should end up with a credit, Gegenheimer said.

Additionally, the annual energy savings for the district once the new lighting is in place will be more than $15,000, Gegenheimer said.

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