21 Aug 2014
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Dist. 63: No Tax Hike Until 2016 At Least

District says expenses growing faster than revenues, but it does not expect to go to referendum until at least 2016 at the earliest.

Dist. 63: No Tax Hike Until 2016 At Least

 

When District 63 board members heard a "State of the District" report at their meeting last week, they heard some cautions that most Illinois school districts are worried about, money-wise.

Those include the fact that state legislators may require school districts to pay the employee pension costs that the state can't, or won't, pay. 

Earlier: District 63 gearing up for challenges

Also, District 63 salary negotiations with the union will soon begin, and teachers, teachers' assistants, secretaries and custodians will likely seek typical salary increases. 

Despite these probable increases in expenses, Dr. Scott Clay, the district superintendent, says careful monitoring of the district's finances means it is not going to be asking taxpayers for more money in the near-term future. 

The district, which educates students from Niles, Morton Grove, Des Plaines, Glenview and Park Ridge, has forecast several scenarios for future costs it will face, depending on as-yet unknown variables.

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"Even in the worst-case scenario, it looks like we would not have to go to referendum until 2016," Clay said.

"In the best-case scenario, we could extend that indefinitely."

The board and staff have done a lot to shore up the district's finances, he explained.

The State of the District report notes the district promised taxpayers it would not ask for additional funding, via a referendum, until at least 2010, and kept that promise. However, the report also noted that the district cannot perpetually balance a budget if revenues come in at 2.5 percent, as they have been for the past 10 years, and expenses grow at 5 percent. 

The report has more detailed financial information and projections. 

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