LeRoy Schools Experiencing Property Value Growth
The recent economic activity in McLean County has certainly helped to elevate the value of property in our school district. Over the past 4-years, the district has experienced an average growth in property values of 2.57%. As we are drafting our tax levy for next year, the county is projecting our growth in property values of between 6.2% and 6.75%. Growth in excess of 5% requires the district to have a truth in taxation hearing. It has been the practice of our Board of Education to have an annual tax levy hearing whether required by statute or not.
When the advertisement for the hearing appears in the paper, it is easily interpreted to mean that property taxes are increasing by 106%. What it actually means is that our extension is increasing by 6% over last year. Our fixed tax rates will remain constant. Those fixed tax rates are made up of the following categories; Education ($3.00), Operations and Maintenance ($0.72), Transportation ($0.20), Working Cash ($0.05), Fire Prevention/Life Safety ($0.05), Special Education ($0.04), and Lease ($0.05). Our total fixed rate funds create a tax rate of $4.11 and will remain constant. Our variable rate funds are made up of Bond and Interest, Tort, IMRF, and FICA/MED. These rates change as the associated liability and the Equalized Assessed Value (EAV) change. These are the rates projected to move downward as the EAV increases.
We are expecting a decrease in our overall tax rate of $0.25 over the next five years. For that decrease to be a reality, we need both windmill developments to reach their projected potential. The development to the East of LeRoy is projected to contribute $0.10 in relief and the development to the Southwest of LeRoy is projected to contribute $0.15 in relief. Continued growth in commercial and residential property will also work to reduce the necessary tax rate for the school district. Growth is critical to creating more balanced relief to our property owners. At some point, the next most impactful strategy to property tax relief is to again explore the 1-cent county sales tax for public schools. While this is trading one tax for another, there is a reasonable commitment that can be made to ensure that a defined percentage of the revenue be used for property tax relief.
Please take a look at the attached documents for more detailed information.