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By DAVE HINTON
Rantoul Press editor
GIFFORD — Gifford school board will seek a 9.78 percent higher tax levy.
The hike is expected to bring in $84,900 in new money.
Superintendent Rod Grimsley said the district received $32,000 more tax money from last year’s levy when the consumer price index was 1.5 percent. This year’s CPI is 3 percent.
“If we asked for an increase of less than 5 percent, then we would only be entitled to an increase in money of $42,000,” Grimsley said.
He said the district needs “to make sure we have ballooned the levy high enough to account for” a substantial amount of new-growth money that will go on this year’s tax roll that does not count against the tax cap. Otherwise, the district would lose a portion of that new money every year.
More money will also come in as a result of the community being reassessed during the summer and due to the construction of windmills in the southeast part of the district.
Grimsley estimated the 22 new windmills in the district will increase the district’s equalized assessed valuation by about $4.2 million.
“As a rule of thumb,” Grimsley said, “we will always ask for more than we know we are going to get. If we do this, then we will get what we are entitled to and will not leave any money on the table since we are tax-capped.”
The cap is either 5 percent or the Consumer Price Index, whichever is less.
Because the levy is higher than 5 percent, it will be necessary for the board to conduct a truth-in-taxation hearing. The hearing is set at 6:45 p.m. Monday, Dec. 10, at the school, just prior to the regular monthly meeting.
Last year’s tax rate was 2.71, and this year’s proposed rate will be 2.70.
The levy was discussed at Monday’s monthly board meeting.
In other business, the board directed the building and grounds committee to go over a building report assembled by BLDD architects and then make recommendations to the full board to consider.
The board also approved Tim Dillman as a volunteer fifth-/sixth-grade boys basketball coach.