District 87 officials believe the two-year trend of a shrinking property tax base will end this year, and that could lead to a slight drop in the tax rate.
Colin Manahan, the district's chief financial and facilities officer, is projecting a 1% increase in taxable land values in a proposed $44.5 million property tax levy he will present to the school board Wednesday night.
“Hopefully we are through most of this and we’ll see positive EAV (equalized assessed valuation) growth,” Manahan said. “That’s good for the entire area, but hard to say yet.”
Manahan said he’s basing his numbers on the McLean County supervisor of assessment's projection for 1% growth in taxable land values this year.
“There’s some things going on good in the community that would add to that (growth) in terms of new property, remodeled property, some big projections going on that will also impact that,” Manahan said.
He referenced the Westminster Village expansion, the opening of several restaurants and other businesses as tax base enhancements. He added the store closings at Eastland Mall have had a negative impact.
The district’s EAV has dropped .25% in 2017 and .7% last year after several years of modest increases.
If the district 1% growth rate holds true, District 87 taxpayers will see their rate drop about a penny to $5.14 per $100 assessed valuation. A one-cent drop would mean a $15 drop for the owner of a $150,000 home, but Manahan cautioned it’s too soon to project where the rate will land.
If property values decline this year, homeowners could end up paying slightly more.
District 87 has essentially kept the tax rate flat since 2015.
The school board will hold a public hearing and vote on the levy on Dec. 11.
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