District 67 referendum on ballot Tuesday, Feb. 26
Updated: March 22, 2013 6:24AM
MORTON GROVE — After voters turned down a proposed property tax hike in Golf Elementary District 67 in November, School Board President Meryl Gale promised the district would be back with another request.
That will happen next week, when voters will be asked for the third time to approve a tax increase for the district.
If approved, District 67 will be able to increase the 2013 levy by 16.3 percent, a move that would generate about $1.1 in new property tax revenue.
The request is the same as the one rejected by voters in November by about 20 percent of the vote. Before that, the district in March sought an increase in the maximum tax rate in the education fund, a measure that also was defeated.
Though voters rejected the tax increase in March, they did narrowly approve a bond sale to finance improvements at Golf Middle School and Hynes Elementary School and construction of a new gym at Hynes.
The district, which has not had an increase in the maximum tax rate in the education fund since 1969, has made a series of cuts over the past few years, among them eliminating after-school programs, freezing salaries, cutting staff, eliminating early and late bus runs and reducing kindergarten from full- to half-day.
Full-day kindergarten is among programs the school board said could return if the referendum is passed.
The school board had initially talked about putting the measure on the general election ballot in April, but instead took advantage of a primary race between Mayor Dan Staackmann and Trustee Dan DiMaria, both running for mayor on the Action Party ticket.
Following the defeat in November, Gale said that without the additional money, the district at some point will have to make additional cuts. She also noted that discussions in the Illinois General Assembly over pension reform include proposals to shift the cost of the teachers’ pension system onto individual districts.
If approved, the measure would allow the district to increase the levy by 16.3 percent, likely about 13.3 percent more than is permitted under the tax cap. The cap limits the levy increase to the Consumer Price Index or 5 percent, whichever is less.
Even if the referendum is approved the district will not see any of the additional revenue until 2014, when the 2013 levy is collected.~.