By Charlie Feldman
Taxpayers in the Triad School district could pay 6.43 percent more in the fiscal year beginning July 1, 2021.
That’s according to the tentative aggregate tax levy unanimously approved by the school board at its Monday, November 23 meeting.
The board will hold a truth in taxation hearing and vote on the final version at its next meeting, scheduled for December 21. Then the levy must be certified by the county clerk by December 29.
The estimated total property taxes to be levied by the school district for 2020 are $29,954,186.
The 2019 total levy was $28,572,836. That’s the amount of money that the district asked for. That year’s property tax extension – the amount it actually received – was $28,144,559. That year’s aggregate rate – the total without bond and interest – was $21,192,150.
This year’s aggregate rate is tentatively estimated at $22,890,600.
Because the next Equalized Assessment Value (EAV) of all property in the district won’t be released until March, the district must estimate how much that will be when they calculate the figures. If the guess is too low, according to the district’s business and communication director Mike Raymond, that’s the amount that they will receive and the tax rates will be set lower than the maximum amount allowed.
“This, of course, forces a taxing body to overestimate its anticipated EAV and the resulting levy amounts in order to assure that its tax rates do not fall below the legal maximum,” he wrote in his report for that evening’s board meeting. EAV growth is one of the guidelines used in the process.
One factor that could affect the final version is the new supermarket being built in town. Before the Troy City Council approved a ten-year Enterprise Zone tax abatement on the incremental increase in property value for Pete’s Market at its November 16 meeting, Mayor Allen Adomite said that if the school district abates its tax on the business as well, it could actually get money back through general state aid and get reimbursed for that difference.
“We had a very brief meeting with the mayor and our attorney,” said Raymond, “We did get some background information on it.”
“Keep in mind the dynamic for them is a little different than us,” said board president Jeff Hewitt. “They have the sales tax portion and we do not.” He said that the district is trying to get a little more information so they can go in knowing what it means and what the real impact will be. “So we can have another discussion and be clear on what it really does mean to Triad and decide what if anything, we think we should do,” he said.
In other action the board approved an Early Retirement Incentive as a cost-saving measure. The ERI program is a tool that IMRF employers, such as the Triad District, can use to let eligible IMRF employees purchase up to five years of age and service credit for the purpose of retirement benefits.
The benefit to the IMRF employee is he or she could potentially be able to retire up to five years earlier. The benefit to the employer is potential savings of salary and benefits costs. Twenty-one district employees are currently eligible to take part in the ERI program.
The next school board meeting will be held on Monday, December 21 at 6:30 p.m. and can be watched through the district website’s Board Docs page on its YouTube feed.