District 207 board passes 2012-13 budget
Updated: October 14, 2012 1:13PM
PARK RIDGE — The Maine Township High School District 207 Board of Education voted 5-1 to approve the $138-million budget for 2012-13.
The budget has a surplus of $4 million, $2 million of which comes from the district’s two orphanage programs being discontinued at the end of the 2011-12 fiscal year. The budget includes projected revenues of $142.3 million.
Property taxes are projected to increase by 3.8 percent, or more than $3.5 million.
Assistant Superintendent for Business Mary Kalou Kalou said property-tax bills for the second installment of 2011 had an August 2012 due date for the first time in several years. She said the timing difference led to an additional $1 million in property taxes in the budget. The balance of the surplus is about $1 million, which is less than 1 percent of the district’s anticipated spending, Kalou noted.
Kalou said there is a “one-time bump” in property taxes of about $600,000 from Rivers Casino, which joined the property-tax rolls starting with the 2011 tax levy.
“One of the things we’ve been continuing to try to do is live within our means,” Kalou said.
Trustee Edward Mueller was the lone dissenting vote on the budget at the this month’s board meeting.
“I’m against a tax increase,” said Mueller, explaining why he did not vote in favor of the budget Sept. 3. “I think we can get by with what we’ve got.”
Mueller said he has voted against a property-tax increase for the past few years and has even suggested a decrease, which was not supported by other board members. He said especially in this struggling economy, he could not support a tax increase.
“We know that coming up we’ll have a facility master plan being presented,” Kalou said. “The buildings need a significant investment in them. I think that’s where some of the surplus will go.”