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D-205 board passes $103M tax levy

ELMHURST – The tax levy passed by the District 205 Board of Education on Tuesday will cost the owner of a $300,000 Elmhurst home an additional $107.27 next year.

The district's roughly $103 million tax levy was calculated using the 2012 consumer price index of 1.7 percent in addition to the estimated equalized assessed value (EAV) of all property and estimated EAV of new construction. The EAV is used to determine the fair cash value of a property.

Chris Whelton, assistant superintendent for finance and operations, explained that the district estimates the actual tax extension will be closer to $102 million after the county determines the actual amount of new construction within the district during 2013.

"Most taxpayers will see an increase of 2.23 percent," Whelton said of the new levy.

While the district estimated new construction EAV to be about $22 million, the district levied for a total of $45 million in new construction EAV because the amount of new homes built in 2013 is still unknown.

"The EAV lags the market in that it is based on the sales of homes in 2010, 2011 and 2012," Whelton said. "The additional amount provides for the possibility of underestimating new construction."

Still, DuPage County will only extend the increase to what is allowable under the actual EAV and tax extension, no matter what amount the district levies. The district receives these numbers from the county in late March. The district then collects the tax in two payments, one in June and one in September.

"The tax levy is a request, a place holder until the county determines the final EAV rates for new construction and the 2013 extension," Whelton said.

The Board of Education also held a public hearing on the levy Tuesday during which only one resident voiced his opposition to raising taxes.

Whelton explained that, by law, a public hearing is required for any levy that exceeds 105 percent of the previous year's tax extension. Even with the generous estimate of new construction, the district's levy was only a 4.2 percent increase over last year.

Board President Jim Collins said the levy was conservative by overestimating the tax increase.

"There's most likely not 45 million in new construction," Collins said.

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