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District 113 Passes Tax Hike

Deerfield and Highland Park residents will be paying more in taxes next year.

Taxes were raised Monday for Highland Park and Deerfield residents by Township High School District 113.
Taxes were raised Monday for Highland Park and Deerfield residents by Township High School District 113.

A 2.97 percent increase in the real estate tax levy was unanimously approved by the Township High School District 113 Board of Education Monday during its regularly scheduled meeting in Highland Park.

Though some citizens spoke against the proposed increase bringing the 2013 property tax levy paid next year to $89,406,538 including bond interest to operate Deerfield and Highland Park High Schools, only Board member Annette Lidawer offered an opinion saying an annual bump should not be considered a certainty.

“Our taxpayers are struggling right now too,” Lidawer said. “I recognize the necessity for this levy, but having said that we must not accept an annual Levy as a given. We must be even more responsible fiscal stewards and not assume that we should automatically simply pass a tax levy.”

The increase means the owner of a $500,000 Highland Park or Deerfield home will pay approximately $115 more next year than in 2013, according to Assistant Superintendent for Finance Barry Bolek.

Along with increases from the City and Park District of Highland Park, a decrease from North Shore School District 112 and a freeze from Moraine Township, Highland Park owners of a $500,000 house will be paying an additional $138 next year.

In Deerfield the aggregate bump is $135 based on increase from District 113, the Village and the Deerfield Park District along with a decrease from Deerfield Public Schools District 109. Patch does not have figures from West Deerfield Township.

In other action, the District 113 Board delayed until Jan. 13 a decision to give all freshmen and sophomore students Chromebooks for the 2014-15 school year.

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Michael Ioffe December 12, 2013 at 07:49 AM
To reduce taxes we could help businesses in Highland Park: http://highlandpark.patch.com/groups/economy-and-climate-change/p/how-attract-customers-for-the-highland-park-businesses http://highlandpark.patch.com/groups/economy-and-climate-change/p/how-to-attract-customers-for-highland-park-businesses-part-2 http://highlandpark.patch.com/groups/economy-and-climate-change/p/how-to-attract-customers-for-highland-park-businesses-part-3 http://highlandpark.patch.com/groups/economy-and-climate-change/p/how-to-attract-customers-to-businesses-in-highland-park-part-4
Susan Kozloff December 12, 2013 at 08:42 AM
As house and land assessment rise again after dropping for the past 2 years, that $115 will grow to hundreds and hundreds more.
Daniel December 12, 2013 at 10:51 AM
The 115 doesn't include the 113 referendum. More like $400 total
Richard H Heineman Jr December 12, 2013 at 12:38 PM
Susan- That is not how the levy works. If your property goes up or down the same as other properties then the $115 is correct. You pay based on what your house is worth as a percentage of the entire assessed valuation of the district.
David December 15, 2013 at 08:26 AM
I don't get it. The average homeowner living in a $500,000 house can't afford an extra $115 a year? People easily pay that amount for a family of four to eat one meal at a decent restaurant on the North Shore. Sheesh.
David Greenberg December 15, 2013 at 04:22 PM
@David: Some people can afford it, some can't. Regardless, why should anyone be forced to choose between a meal at a restaurant with their family or giving more money to a taxing body simply because they refuse to lower their costs? Every year, every teacher gets a "step" raise - this isn't merit based, simply because they're still on the job. So there's no impetus to strive to do better because you know you're getting a raise no matter what; essentially everyone on the job appeals to the lowest common denominator. There's other examples as well, but the simple fact is that we need to change the compensation model in our schools - salary, benefits, raises; and these annual tax levy increases need to cease - levy increases need to be the exception, not the rule. We need to stop driving people out of the District because they're unable to afford the tax burden.
Walter White December 15, 2013 at 06:45 PM
Or we can demand the board and administration put money aside to handle major capital projects instead of allowing the infrastructure to crumble over the last 20 years. But since you and others supported the referendum and it passed, they now know they can come to the community for money and get it. Stop targeting those terrorist teachers and focus on who's bilking the system....fat cat administrators. Too many of them making too much money.
forest barbieri December 15, 2013 at 09:14 PM
Walter: Think Pensions!
Walter White December 15, 2013 at 09:35 PM
Want your currently non-union teacher base to organize in about a minute? Elect Dave Greenberg, the anti-teacher candidate!
AK December 15, 2013 at 10:46 PM
David G: "I wanted no new lights at Walter's field but I am changing to pro referendum because I am running for board seat this time". Wally da crazy nujt: "I don't want referendum, but teachers salaries must go up no matter what". Forest: "Pensions are killing my property taxes but I can always appeal them. So, I support everything and everyone, cause I am so cool. And i forgot to tell you, folks, I am proud to be a son of the immigrant. Next time vote for me". Three amigos

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