ALTON - Alton Community Unit School District #11 held a Truth in Taxation hearing before their regular Board of Education meeting on Tuesday, Dec. 19, 2023.

Mary Schell, the district’s Director of Financial Services, explained the proposed 2023 tax levy to the Board and community members.

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“A Truth in Taxation hearing is held to let voters and taxpayers in the community comment on the proposed local property tax levy the district’s making for the current year taxes payable in the following year,” Schell said. “When the district’s proposed aggregate levy is greater than 105% of the prior year's aggregate extension, a Truth in Taxation hearing must be held…In summary, this Truth in Taxation hearing is taking place because the 2023 district aggregate levy, based on 15% increase in [equalized assessed value], exceeds the 2022 aggregate extension by more than 105%.”

Schell explained that the levy is “simply an educated guess” about the projected amount of taxes for the next year. By making this guess, it allows the district to create a more accurate budget for the 2024–2025 school year even though they won’t know for sure how much money they will receive from property taxes until the spring of 2024.

That amount will ultimately be determined by the equalized assessed value (EAV), which is “the taxable value of all property within the school district’s boundaries.” The EAV is determined by Madison County in the spring. Since 2018, the EAV has increased for ACUSD11.

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The district has to approve a levy now in order to make sure they will receive tax funding for the 2024–2025 school year. The money the district actually receives is called the aggregate extension.

“In 2022, our aggregate extension was $31,080,592.88,” Schell explained. “Our 2023 aggregate levy is $35,929,511. So the percent increase on the aggregate levy is 15.6% based on that projected 15% increase in EAV. In 2021, our total extension including the bond and interest, or the debt fund, was $39,809,825.73…Our 2023 proposed total levy is $44,398,496 for a total percent increase of 11.53%. So this levy illustrates a projected increase greater than 105% of the aggregate extension from last year. Therefore, this hearing is required by law.”

For every $100,000 of home value, taxpayers will see a decrease of either $39.16, $19.99 or $11.84 depending on if the respective EAV is a 15%, 10% or 8% increase. There is currently a projected 15% increase in EAV.

The annual tax levy resolution was ultimately adopted by the Board in an unanimous vote on Dec. 19, 2023.

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