Thursday, October 13, 2016

Ten tax propositions,
16 bond issues on ballot

No fewer than 26 local school funding increase referendum questions are set to appear on the Nov. 8 primary election ballot, including 16 bond issues and 10 tax increase proposals. Many more school districts would benefit from eight countywide referenda (highlighted in yellow on the map) on sales tax propositions earmarked for school facility purposes.

The largest of the district finance propositions can be found in Champaign CUSD 4, where $183 million in new bond revenue could be raised if voters approve the district’s bond issue. The proposal asks voters to endorse borrowing to fund various school additions and renovations, and to completely replace one school building.

In addition to Champaign, other districts known to be placing local bond issues before voters in November include:
  • Central CUSD 301, a $22 million bond issue to renovate a high school
  • CCSD 181, Hinsdale, a $53.3 million proposal for building two new schools
  • Deer Creek-Mackinaw CUSD 701, a $5.89 million bond issue for facility repairs and improvements
  • Dixon SD 170, an $80.6 million proposition to build a new high school and repair other buildings
  • East Prairie SD 73, Skokie, a $47.4 million plan to replace one old school
  • Hononegah CHSD 207, a $44 million bond issue for additions to the high school
  • LaSalle-Peru THSD 120, $38 million for building improvements
  • Oak Park-River Forest CHSD 200, a $25 million proposal to upgrade the high school building for improved learning, replace an 88-year-old swimming pool, and more
  • Palatine CCSD 1, a $130 million bond issue for construction of two new schools
  • Palos CCSD 118, Palos Park, a $6.5 million proposition to build an addition to one elementary school
  • Paxton-Buckley-Loda CUSD 10, a $31.4 million proposition to construct a new elementary school and repair others
  • Rankin District 98, a $2.25 million plan for an addition to an elementary school
  • River Trails SD 26, a $29 million bond proposal for a new early learning center
  • Salt Creek SD 48, an $8 million plan for repairs to four buildings
  • Winnebago CUSD 323, a $25.6 million proposal to build a new school, and a new transportation and administration building
Tax increase proposals, per se, will appear on the ballot in at least five school districts:
  • Aviston Elementary SD 21, a proposed 45-cent tax increase for every $100 of EAV
  • Deer Creek-Mackinaw CUSD 701, a 30-cent tax increase per $100 of EAV
  • Edwardsville CUSD 7, a 55-cent tax increase for every $100 of EAV
  • Maroa-Forsyth CUSD 2, a 50-cent tax increase per $100 of EAV
  • Metamora CCSD 1, a 31-cent tax increase for every $100 of EAV
Increases under the Property Tax Extension Limitation Law (PTELL), also known as tax caps, would authorize increasing property taxes in at least five other school districts:
  • Carlinville CUSD 1, a .50 percent hike in the PTELL limit
  • Central City SD 133, a .50 percent hike in the PTELL limit
  • LaGrange SD 102, a .42 percent hike in the PTELL limit
  • Newark CCSD 66, a .70 percent hike in the PTELL limit
  • Norridge SD 80, a .24 percent hike in the PTELL limit

In addition to the school district tax propositions, countywide sales tax proposals to benefit schools are scheduled in at least eight counties: Coles, Edgar, Jackson, Lee, McDonough, Peoria, Rock Island, and Wabash. Since the state law on this topic took effect in January 2008, 39 counties have adopted the retailers occupation and service occupation tax (sales tax) for the benefit of school facilities.

Other education-related proposals on the November ballot include two school district consolidations, and five miscellaneous propositions, including four to authorize the at-large election of school board members.  One miscellaneous proposal asks voters to approve an alternative revenue plan for using a state allocation of Personal Property Replacement Tax (PPRT) funds to construct a new school in Laraway CCSD 70-C (Joliet).

Finally, there are six non-binding advisory questions on the ballot that deal with various education topics. They range from asking Chicago District 299 voters whether the state should provide full and equitable funding for the Chicago Public schools, to asking voters in Waltham CCSD 185 (Utica) whether the district should build a new Waltham School. One Chicago ward and portions of two other wards also will pose advisory questions, with three asking Windy City voters about placing a limitation on any new charter schools in their area.

This blog will report on results of all the Nov. 8 referenda. Passing rates of school finance referenda since 1989 are available online.