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After a public hearing at the Huntley 158 Board of Education meeting on December 21, 2023, the board voted 7-0 to adopt the 2023 tax levy. The requested aggregate amount of total property taxes to be levied for 2023 is $80,820,683, which reflects a 5 percent increase over last year’s extension.

Under the Illinois Property Tax Extension Limitation Law (PTELL), increases in property tax extensions are limited to the lesser of 5 percent or the increase in the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for the previous year. The CPI for calendar year 2022 was 6.5 percent.  

Tax levy requests are based on projected operating expenses, estimated property values (Equalized Assessed Value or EAV, which is determined by the counties) and local projected revenue from new construction. The 2023 tax levy request reflects current rising costs due to inflation, an estimated EAV increase of approximately 10.76 percent, and estimated new construction valued at $24.28 million. Huntley 158’s tax rate of approximately 4.30 (per $100) is down from last year’s rate of 4.47, and remains low when compared with other benchmark and unit districts in McHenry County and the surrounding area. 

Based on the 2023 tax levy request original estimates, the owner of a home valued at $200,000, with the increase in the Homestead Exemption from $6,000 to $8,000 and no increase in property value (EAV), could see a tax increase of approximately $99. 

To offset the burden on taxpayers, the Board will be discussing a possible abatement of debt in an effort to lessen the impact of the 5 percent inflationary increase at the January 18, 2024 board meeting. 

Huntley 158 receives approximately 60 percent of its operating revenue from local tax dollars. Property taxes enable a school district to meet current financial obligations and plan for future needs. The money school districts receive from annual property tax levies fund salaries and benefits per collective bargaining agreements; routine maintenance and improvements to aging facilities; educational programming and strategic planning initiatives; and overall operating costs. 

Huntley 158 maintains one of the lowest operational costs per student in McHenry County. Creating a culture of operational efficiency continues to be a focal point of the district’s strategic plan. The district’s operational efficiencies range from HVAC improvements and electrical upgrades to energy savings through environmental initiatives and other cost-cutting measures. For an update on district strategic plan initiatives that pertain to operational efficiency, visit the D158 website for the board meeting presentation on December 7, 2023. 

“We are committed to our mission of providing a quality education for all students always and appreciate the support from our community,” said interim superintendent Jessica Lombard. “We take our role as financial stewards seriously and will continue to look for ways to streamline and reduce our expenses to offset the cost to our taxpayers. It is our goal to maintain Huntley’s reputation as a destination school district and a desirable place to live, work and raise a family.”

Click the link for the tax levy presentation at the regular Board of Education meeting on December 21, 2023.