South Beloit district plans for 2.1 percent more funding

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SOUTH BELOIT - The South Beloit District expects to receive around a 2.1 percent increase in funding through property taxes this year.

The South Beloit School District is poised to pass a $12,438,500 total budget at its public hearing set for 6 p.m. on Tuesday at the Board of Education Administrative Office, 850 Hayes St.

The budget is slightly up from last year's figure of $12,135,147.

Under the estimated budget, taxpayers would pay $22.98 per $1,000 of property tax valuation.

For example, a homeowner with $100,000 home would pay $2,298 in property taxes for school district's purposes which is more than the previous year's $2,272, representing a potential $26 tax increase. However, Fisher stressed property owners could pay less depending on the final amount authorized by the county clerk due to tax caps.

The total tax levy will be $5,451,223. Of that, $1,023,594 is bond payments for the high school. The proposed corporate and special purpose property taxes to be levied for 2018 is $4,427,628.

The current proposed budget for the district in 2017-2018 is 12,438,500 and projected revenue is $12,327,877.

The proposed expenditure budget for 2017-2018 is $10,986,117 for general operating costs.

Cost increases were attributable to the district lost $235,000 for preschool this year from a state grant, and now the district will pay for it under the general fund. The district also added a art teacher at the k-8 level and added a new college and career readiness director to create career and college pathways for students.

Reductions included the district reducing two teachers through attrition to due declining enrollment of about 75 kids.

Although the district asked for a 4.9 percent increase in property taxes, Fisher said Winnebago County will reduce that amount because the district operates under tax caps limiting increases to the consumer price index of 2.1 percent.

Fisher said the reason the district requested a higher tax rate is to capture new dollars any on any new construction in the district because tax caps start the second year.

With the new evidence based school funding model in Illinois, the school district is at the lowest tier for local property taxes. With the new evidence based funding, the district is eligible to receive more state money because of its limited tax property base. According to the state, Fisher said the district is only funding at 57.3 percent.

"Because the total property value of the school district is not very high so the district doesn't generate a lot of property taxes are an dependent on state and federal funding to offset the difference," Fisher said.

The South Beloit School District has a 75 percent poverty rate.

"With all of our financial issues, all five schools were listed as commendable for education by the state Board of Education," Fisher said.

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