U-46 looking at up to $43 million in property tax relief from state
Elgin Area School District U-46 board members on Monday indicated their support for applying to get part of $50 million in property tax relief grants the state is making available this year.
The district is looking to seek roughly $43 million for fiscal year 2019.
"We applied for the maximum of what they said we could," said Jeff King, deputy superintendent of operations and chief school business official.
Tax relief grants are a provision of the state's new evidence-based school funding law. A school district's eligibility is based on whether its tax rate exceeds a threshold to be calculated once all applications are received. Districts must also agree to abate a portion of taxes in the coming tax year, according to the Illinois State Board of Education.
The application deadline is Jan. 7. Approved grants might be received this spring.
How much U-46 could collect is contingent on how many school districts apply for the grants. If all eligible districts applied for tax relief, U-46 could receive between $1 million and $5 million, King said.
"If we are awarded something, it will be included in our abatement," King said. "We will add the amount of the grant we receive to that abatement amount," which the district sets in February.
All district taxpayers would see a proportional benefit from any grant amount the district might receive, but there's no guarantee U-46 will receive anything.
King said applying for the grant does not diminish the district's education funding or ability to levy taxes.
"I don't see any downside to it whatsoever," King said.
The school board will vote on the grant application at its Dec. 17 meeting.