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Board approves flat levy to ease tax burden


The Rockford School Board tonight agreed to keep its tax levy flat for the upcoming taxing cycle. In addition, for the third consecutive year, the Rockford Public Schools will not take revenue that districts are entitled to under state law. That revenue is tied to the Consumer Price Index, or CPI.

The CPI decision represents $2.1 million in revenue the district will not realize. In combination with the money returned to taxpayers from the 58-cent “Kids Win” referendum, RPS 205 has given back $22.8 million to the community since 2012.

“This demonstrates a continued commitment from the board and the administration to improving student outcomes while attempting to minimize the burden on local taxpayers,” Superintendent Ehren Jarrett said.

The board-approved levy is what drives tax revenue collection in the spring and fall of 2015. The $2.1 million in foregone revenue from CPI will have a $1.05 million impact during the 2014-15 school year and another $1.05 million during the 2015-16 school year.

Despite the board holding the line on the levy, the tax rate is still expected to increase because of declining local property values. The tax rate is $7.23 now; it is projected to increase to $7.65 for 2014. It would have risen to $7.75 if the board had taken the CPI increase.

Not taking the CPI increase saves the owner of a $100,000 home about $29.

Of the eight unit districts in the region, RPS 205 is in the middle of the pack in tax rates – lower than Harlem at $7.81 and higher than Belvidere at $6.36.​​