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Hinsdale-Clarendon Hills District 181 board stays frugal with tax levy

<p>Superintendent Renee Schuster (right) said approval of the lesser levy extension amount could create a roadblock for new programs. | Buzz Orr/For Sun-Times Media&nbsp;</p>
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Superintendent Renee Schuster (right) said approval of the lesser levy extension amount could create a roadblock for new programs. | Buzz Orr/For Sun-Times Media 

 

In a 4-3 vote, the Hinsdale-Clarendon Hills Elementary District 181 Board approved a 2013 tax levy request Dec. 9 less than recommended by the head of the district’s business operations.

The 1.7 percent extension was less than the 2.79 percent recommended by Gary Frisch, assistant superintendent for business and operations.

Frisch said the district should receive an additional $915,272 in revenue from the 1.7 percent levy extension. The 2.79 percent extension would have netted an additional $1.5 million. A third option presented by Frisch, for a 3 percent extension, would have meant an additional amount of about $1.6 million.

Board members Marty Turek, Michael Nelson and Gary Clarin supported a compromise of a levy that would have netted an additional $1.2 million.

However, the 1.7 percent levy extension was backed by Brendan Heneghan, Glenn Yaeger, Jill Vorobiev and Mridu Garg.

“We can only put that burden on the taxpayers so much,” Garg said. “As a board, we need to figure out what can we reasonably do with the resources we have to advance that learning and maintain high achievement.”

Nelson noted the final levy amount can be reduced in March, but cannot be increased.

Superintendent Renee Schuster said approval of the lesser levy extension amount could create a roadblock for new programs.

“We had hoped to move forward on the world languages program; we’ve put that on the back burner for two years, and it’s likely we’ll just do that again,” she said. “We’ve had parents talk to us about all-day kindergarten; it’s unlikely we’ll move that forward.”

Schuster said the administration likely will not bring forth other new ideas, because they have to be sure they have the staff for any programming.

The School Board approved a $66.5 million budget in September. About 91 percent of the district’s revenues are funded by property taxes. The amount of property tax bills are determined by the amount levied by taxing bodies and the assessed value of the property.

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