Watch Now: Bloomington District 87 Provides Flat Tax Rate | Local education

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Bloomington District 87 CFO and Facilities Manager Mike Cornale explains why they try to slightly overstate property value growth when planning for the tax levy.



BLOOMINGTON – Staff at Bloomington District 87 are planning a tax levy that will keep the district’s tax rate at the same level as last year. The levy is expected to increase by approximately 4.25%, due to the increase in property values.

District 87 council heard its first presentation on the tax levy at its meeting on Wednesday.






Performance Services’ Steve Kowalski (right), accompanied by District 87 Finance and Facilities Manager Mike Cornale, explains to the school board what contracting with an energy services contractor like Performance Services could do for the district.


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The levy is a request for funding from local property taxes. The actual amount received, called an extension of tax, cannot be greater than the levy and is normally less than the amount requested. Thus, tax agencies usually try to overestimate the levy slightly, so as not to lose potential funds.

District 87 is forecasting a 3% increase in total equalized assessed value, said Mike Cornale, chief financial officer and facilities. The target tax rate for the district is $ 5.17 per $ 100 of equalized assessed value. Since Illinois is aiming for an estimated value of one-third of actual value, a property worth $ 150,000 would pay the district about $ 2,600.

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“We really saw a three-cent impact on the tax rate, so a very stable tax rate over the long term here at District 87,” Cornale said.

If approved, the levy would be approximately $ 45,580,000. As taxes are paid in the year after they are assessed, this would go towards the 2023 budget.

The district has had a relatively stable tax rate in recent years and has the lowest rate in the region, Cornale said.

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There will be a public hearing for the levy at the December 8 meeting.

At the meeting, the board of directors also approved an offer from Seico, Inc. to upgrade its video surveillance system. The company has bid $ 1.321 million for the project. Howard Technology had submitted a little of $ 1.316 million, but did not meet all of the bid requirements. Weber Electric also submitted a bid, which was almost double the two lower bids.

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The board of directors approved Seico on Cornale’s recommendation that the company was the lowest responsible bidder, as the lowest bid did not meet all of the district’s needs. Cornale also recommended not paying $ 214,000 per year for cloud storage and instead finding cheaper local storage.

The total amount approved was $ 1.457 million, which includes the bid, a 10% contingency, and some additional fees and programs. Cornale said the plan is to use ESSER II funds for the upgrade.

The council also heard from seven community members during the public comment section. Six spoke about mask warrants and vaccines and concerns they had about items in school libraries and the curriculum. They said they wanted to work with the school board and not use the court system, referring to a recent lawsuit against more than 145 school districts in the state.

Diane Benjamin called for board members to resign, citing online reviews of two textbooks used in a grade 9 social studies course. She said the textbooks didn’t teach the real story and contained a progressive curriculum.

Contact Connor Wood at (309) 820-3240. Follow Connor on Twitter: @connorkwood


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