Letter to the editor: Why are our taxes so high?
We would like to publicly thank the current D36 School Board for not increasing the tax levy the maximum allowable under law as recommended by the administration at December’s board meeting.
However, it is troubling to think that the maximum levy was even being considered, given that the District has over $62 million in total reserves, or 125% of budget. To maintain our AAA bond rating, the district only needs 50% of budget in reserves. D36 accounts for 38% of our property taxes already, ensuring that Winnetka property taxes are higher than surrounding communities and among the highest in the State.
Why are our taxes so high? There are a number of factors, but one in particular; the overreaching 2007 referendum that was predicated on enrollment projections that were hundreds of students higher than those actually experienced. Enrollment in District 36 has plummeted 14% from the 2006 high of 2,105 students to 1,807 at the beginning of this school year. It is notable that all the other NT feeders have seen an increase in student population over the same time period.
Of concern as well is the make up of the District’s investment portfolio that contains BBB corporate bonds which are not permitted under the State guidelines for investment.
We sincerely hope that the Board will remain focused on calling as much of the outstanding debt from the referendum possible in 2017, immediately lowering the burden on taxpayers so that our village can be an affordable destination for future families.
– Dale and Jim Wyant