High School District 207 Gives Taxpayers A Break

Maine Township D207 is abating $1.5 million to taxpayers. They would otherwise have to pay that money to the district. It includes Maine East, South and West.

A view of Maine South High School, one of the three District 207 high schools. File photo by Pam DeFiglio, Patch.com.
A view of Maine South High School, one of the three District 207 high schools. File photo by Pam DeFiglio, Patch.com.

If you live within the Maine Township High School District 207 borders, you will be paying a lower property tax bill than you otherwise would, thanks to a decision the high school district board made last week.

The district abated $1,478,452 from its 2013 tax levy.  

District 207 encompasses all of Park Ridge and parts of Niles, Morton Grove, Des Plaines, Glenview and Harwood Heights.

Here are more details from District 207:

For the second consecutive year, Maine Township taxpayers will receive a $1 million-plus tax abatement from High School District 207. The District 207 Board of Education, during its regular December meeting, approved the abatement of $1,478,562 in taxes levied for 2013. This decision follows a $1 million abatement on last year’s property tax levy.

The Board voted for the abatement based on a Finance Committee recommendation and an awareness that District residents continue to feel the effects of still-recovering national economy and continued underemployment for some people in the community.

District 207 Superintendent Ken Wallace and Assistant Superintendent for Business Mary Kalou said the District continues efforts to strike a balance in approaching its annual property tax levy and fund balance. Both noted that the state’s future financial support for public schools remains uncertain. Specifically, Kalou noted that while a proposed shift of teacher pension costs from the state to the local school districts is not part of the plan that state legislators approved last week, there still is no long-term assurance that such a cost-shift will not occur.

District 207 Board of Education President Margaret McGrath said that the decision to abate close to $1.5 million to taxpayers represents fiscal responsibility during an uncertain time for school financing.

Kalou explained that District favors abating property taxes to reducing the original levy because this approach preserves the District’s ability to levy an amount that would help offset any future reduction of state assistance or a pension cost shift to local districts.

Wallace said, “We believe our financial management and cost-containment efforts have put us in a position that we can make this tax abatement without compromising the quality of our education.”

Wallace added that the Board, administration and staff are all dedicated to the importance of investing tax dollars wisely and appreciate the community’s support in those efforts. He and Kalou noted that one element of the District’s financial planning involves relying as much as possible on existing revenue sources to pay for a 10-year capital program to repair, maintain and upgrade all three District 207 high schools, which range in age from 50 to 83 years. The second year of this capital work will be done during the summer of 2014.

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