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District 87 approves $45.6 million tax levy and the new superintendent's contract

District 87 offices
Eric Stock
District 87 has approved a $45.6 million tax levy for 2021.

District 87 hopes the recent housing boom and manufacturing growth in Bloomington-Normal will grow its tax base next year.

The school board for the Bloomington-based district has approved a $45.6 million property tax levy for 2021. Chief facilities and financial officer Mike Cornale said the levy assumes 3% growth in taxable land values in the district.

“It’s very promising that our EAV (equalized assessed valuation) is looking up,” Cornale said. “It reflects what we are seeing as property owners within the community on the heels of home shortages and things like that.”

Cornale said he anticipates the district’s new tax rate to remain close to its current rate of 5.17%, adding the district estimates it will get between $44.7 million to $45.6 million of its proposed levy, based on the McLean County Assessor’s growth projection of 2.36%.

“That maximum rate we have asked for, we don’t ever expect to see the max but it doesn’t hurt to ask,” Cornale said.

The district's tax base has been mostly stagnant since 2014. According to district data, the EAV fell 0.5% in 2020 and has shrunk in three of the last seven years. Only once (2016) did it grow more than 1%.

The school board in September approved an annual budget that projects a $3.6 million structural deficit.

Superintendent’s contract

The school board, meeting Wednesday night, approved a four-year contract for David Mouser, who the board announced in November will succeed superintendent Barry Reilly, who is retiring next July. The contract sets Mouser’s pay at $215,000 annually. Mouser also gets a monthly stipend of up to $350 for an automobile.

The contract grants him 20 vacation days, 15 sick days and two personal days per year, along with 25 sick days at the start of the contract.

Mouser is the current superintendent of Tri-Valley schools in Downs.

Eric Stock is the News Director at WGLT. You can contact Eric at ejstoc1@ilstu.edu.