The Rockford School Board has agreed again to freeze its tax levy for the upcoming tax cycle. The School Board agreed on Tuesday to set its levy request at $143.3 million, the same levy requested as last tax cycle.
This is the fifth consecutive year that RPS 205 elected to hold the line on tax collections by levying well below its allowable rate. It has done that, in part, by not collecting tax revenue that would be generated by claiming tax increase factors such as the Consumer Price Index (CPI) inflation rate, new property credits and Tax Increment Financing (TIF) recovery credits.
The levy for the tax year 2016 is an estimated $7.79 per $100 of equalized assessed valuation, or EAV. That compares to $7.935 in tax year 2015. That means a taxpayer could keep 14.5 cents for every $100 in EAV of his or her home. For the owner of a $100,000 home, the savings would be roughly $50 in school taxes.
Since 2012, RPS 205 has given back to taxpayers about $16.5 million per year, by way of uncollected tax revenue. That relief equals approximately $2.1 million in savings for taxpayers this year alone. (The relief is a combination of not taking the CPI revenue and returning to taxpayers the 58 cents assessed as part of the “Kids Win” referendum campaign.)
RPS 205 administrators and School Board members are committed to providing essential services for students and staff without adding burden to taxpayers. All told, the district has collected $55 million fewer dollars over the last four levy cycles.
Over time, RPS 205 has reduced its portion of the tax bill to less than 52 percent of the total property tax bill – the lowest percentage of school districts in the region. The portion of the tax bill for education in neighboring districts ranges between 64 and 74 percent of the total property tax bill.