IASA Position Statements - School Finance: Local Issues

3.1. ASSESSMENT AND COLLECTIONS - The IASA supports recommendations for improving assessment, collection and distribution of tax revenues. (1/00)

3.2 ADMINISTRATIVE COST CAP - The IASA shall support legislation that eliminates administrative cost caps provisions of P.A. 90-548. (1/00)

3.3 ASSESSMENT OF POLLUTION CONTROL FACILITIES - The IASA shall support legislation that would return to the tax rolls pollution control facilities including landfills which are included within the rate base of a public utility and as result earn a rate of return for such utility. (1/00)
 
3.4 INVESTMENT EARNINGS - The IASA supports legislation or local practices that allow school district participation in taxing decisions which have the impact of potentially eroding a school district's ability to access the property tax base such as the current 6B and 7B application process in Cook County. (1/00)

3.5 NOTIFICATION OF TAX APPEALS - The IASA supports the concept that the Board of Appeals or Board of Review will hold no hearings on a complaint until the school district and municipality involved have been notified and been given adequate time to prepare and an opportunity to present its case in full. (1/00)

3.6 STANDING ON TAX APPEALS - The IASA supports legislation giving local school districts and municipalities legal standing to appear before any assessing authority or court of jurisdiction to object to and present evidence of inequities in the assessment of real property for tax purposes. (1/00)

3.7 TRANSPORTATION LEVY-EXCESS COSTS - The IASA supports legislation that would allow certain school districts to increase their levy in the Transportation Fund, subject to backdoor referendum, to an amount sufficient to pay for costs of transportation of students not met by tax revenues from the fund levy and the state reimbursement for transportation programs. Eligible districts would be those that are levying no less than the permissive rate in the Transportation Fund and transport students in accordance with Illinois law. (1/00)

3.8 EDUCATION FUND TAX INCREASE - The IASA shall support legislation to increase the maximum permissive tax rate that may be levied for educational purposes. (1/00)

3.9 UTILITY TAXES - The IASA shall support legislation to exempt public school districts from all taxes imposed by state, federal, and units of local government. They shall neither seek to deprive or deplete public schools of their funds. Each public school district shall be issued its own district’s State and Federal Tax Exemption Identification Number for such exemption. It shall be the responsibility of the taxing body to notify the agency collecting the tax of its exemption and assure its implementation. (1/09)

3.10 PERMISSIVE TAX RATE EQUALIZATION - The IASA urges the Illinois General Assembly to equalize taxing authority without referendum of dual and unit districts in all funds. (1/00)

3.11 REQUIRED SITE DEDICATION - The IASA supports legislation requiring builders and subdividers to dedicate land for school purposes or to make cash payments in lieu of such dedication and to allow cash payments to be used for operational expenses. (1/04)

3.12 SUBDIVISION ASSESSMENT - The IASA urges the Illinois General Assembly to adopt a resolution enforcing the annual assessment of unsold lots platted within a subdivision based upon one-third of the market price of comparable property. (1/00)

3.13 LIFE SAFETY FUND-GENERAL - The IASA shall support legislation that allows the State Board of Education to approve the use of monies generated from the health/life safety tax levy or the sale of health/life safety bonds for building projects that, while not specifically listed as a State Board approved project, will directly result in the improved safety of the students and/or community.  Specifically, such funds shall be eligible to cover the costs for the following purposes:  1) repair or replacement of property such as school sidewalks, driveways, parking lots and playground equipment, in instances when a specific safety hazard is demonstrated by a licensed architect or engineer; 2) mandated alterations to facilities and school property pursuant to requirements of the Federal Americans with  Disabilities Act; and 3) to provide air conditioning and climate control in the classrooms, and to provide for the lease and/or purchase of air-conditioning equipment under the tax for leasing (including lease purchase and installment purchase) of educational facilities).  (11/06)

3.14 COOK COUNTY GAS TAX EXEMPTION - The IASA shall encourage and support leadership to exempt school districts from paying Cook County taxes on gasoline. (1/00)

3.15 MOBILE HOME TAXATION - The IASA supports further study of taxation of mobile homes to determine how the value of the dwelling and the value of services afforded the owners and the occupants of the dwelling can be more adequately measured. Until the current system of taxation is changed, the IASA encourages the improved collection of the service tax on mobile homes. (1/00)

3.16 CAPS ON LEVY GROWTH - The IASA supports the authority of school boards to extend taxes to limits authorized by voters without being required to seek further voter approval. (1/00)

3.17 DISCRIMINATORY EFFECT OF TAX CAPS - The IASA shall initiate and support legislative action directed toward correcting the discriminatory effect of the tax cap bill that includes life safety extension within the aggregate levy of collar county school districts unless a referendum is held to authorize the sale of life safety bonds. (1/00)

3.18 PROPERTY TAX CLASSIFICATION - The IASA supports maintaining the real estate assessment for residential property unless it is offset on a one-to-one ratio. (1/00)

3.19 TAX CAP EXEMPTIONS - The IASA shall support legislation designed to exempt the districts in counties under the Property Tax Extension Limitation Law (PTELL) from the restrictions of the tax cap in their Fire and Life Safety, IMRF, Social Security and Tort Immunity funds; base the property tax cap on the Employment Cost Index (ECI) rather than the Consumer Price Index; and establish a "floor" to the PTELL to ensure that the allowable percentage increase in the extension cannot be less than the allowable percentage increase in the 1998 levy year. (11/06)

3.20 PROPERTY TAX CAP - GSA CALCULATIONS - The IASA shall support legislation to modify the General State Aid Formula calculation for school districts subject to PTELL (Property Tax Extension Limitation Law) such as that they are not penalized when successfully passing an operating fund rate increase referendum (1/09)

3.21 PTELL - DEBT SERVICE EXTENSION BASE - The IASA shall support legislation (currently House Bill 1341) to modify the Debt Service Extension Base (DSEB) formula established by the Property Tax Extension Limitation Law (PTELL) to allow the limited number of school districts that do not have DSEB to have one established for them creating more equity among districts affected by the PTELL and equal opportunity in school funding. (01/12)


3.22 PTELL NO PENALTY FOR UNDER LEVY – The IASA shall urge adoption of legislation which would revise the method of funding State-authorized charter schools so as to limit the withholding of State funds from host school districts to reflect the percentage of state funding to the district in the prior fiscal year and to ensure State provision of the entire balance of per capita funding entitlement to the charter school. (2/13)

3.23 SCHOOL FINANCE REFORM - The IASA shall adopt as a position statement the recommendations contained in the Report of the Finance Initiative Committee of the IASB which reads:
 
"The State of Illinois, having the responsibility of defining requirements for elementary and secondary education establishes that the primary purpose of schooling is the transmission of knowledge and culture through which children learn in areas necessary to their continuing development. Such areas include: language arts; mathematics; biological physical and social sciences; fine arts; physical development; and health.

Each school district shall give priority in the allocation of resources, including funds, time allocation, personnel, and facilities to fulfilling the primary purpose of schooling." (The School Code, 105 ILCS 5/27-1)
The IASB believes that adequate funding must be provided for each student in order to guarantee the opportunity for an appropriate public education.

An appropriate education is defined as an education that provides for all students educational opportunities that meet the goals for learning established by the state in the Education Reform Act of 1985 and local community expectations as expressed through local board policy.

The following are criteria by which proposals for school finance reform shall be evaluated:

1. The state's funding of public education should provide for a stable, reliable and predictable commitment of revenue.
2. State funding levels for public education must be a function of the actual cost of providing an appropriate education.
3. Adequate funding should be sought through the addition of new state revenues for public education.
4. Any funding formula developed by the General Assembly shall place high priority upon achieving the goal of equity in providing financial resources to local school districts.
5. Increased state funding for public education should not reduce the ability of school districts to increase their local property tax rate.
6. In the distribution of state funds to local school districts:
a) funding differentials for various levels of schooling are appropriate only if based on verified costs;
b)  consideration should be given to regional differences in the cost of providing an appropriate education;
c)  the method of calculating the number of students coming from disadvantaged backgrounds should be based on current, verifiable data; and
d)  size of school district is important only to the extent that a district provides an appropriate education.
7. A specified local tax effort should be required to qualify for state aid.
8. Authority for changing a district’s aggregate tax levy should be retained by the local board of education.
9. Taxing authority without referendum for unit districts in all funds should be equal to the sum of the taxing authority in dual districts.
10. Funding should not be tied to mandated training of local Boards of Education.

In order to obtain substantial new state revenues for funding an appropriate education, the following considerations should have an impact on any proposal for school finance reform:

• Accountability will be needed.
• The physical plant needs of Illinois' school districts should continue to be addressed.
• Taxpayer equity and relief, including uniform tax assessment and procedures as well as tax relief for limited fixed income and disabled citizens, should be provided. (1/04)

3.24 LOCAL DISTRICT INCOME TAX - The IASA shall support legislation that would allow a school district, subject to a referendum, to impose an income tax. (1/00)

3.25 PROPERTY TAX BASE - The IASA shall oppose any reduction in a district's access to local property tax revenue and shall oppose legislation that would erode the property tax base to educate children in the state of Illinois. (11/06)

3.26 PROPERTY TAX ASSESSMENT AND COLLECTION - The IASA supports the assessment and collection of property taxes at the local level. (1/00)

3.27 PROPERTY TAX RATE INCREASES - The IASA shall support legislation that would require that new property tax rates levied immediately following successful passage of tax rate increases be used as the calculating rate and extended as required under the School Code (105 ILCS 5/17-3.2). (1/03)

3.28 STANDING ON TAX APPEALS - The IASA shall support legislative action to enable public school districts, in Cook County specifically, to (1) receive notices of assessment appeals in excess of $100,000; (2) become participants in assessment reduction proceedings at the administrative and judicial levels; and (3) allow the refund to be credited toward future property tax payments.  Further, the IASA urges that the necessary resources be made available in order to facilitate the timely processing of property tax proceedings. (11/06)

3.29 EAV ADJUSTMENTS – TIMELY NOTIFICATIONS - The IASA shall support legislation to require timely notification between county assessors of substantial adjustments to assessed values for a taxing district that has assessed property in multiple counties. (01/12)

3.30 TAX INCREMENT FINANCING - The IASA shall support changes in the current Tax Increment Financing statute that will model adopting procedures after those established for Enterprise Zones, continue to provide definitions for terms such as blighted used in the statute, develop procedures for disbanding TIF areas that do not produce anticipated growth, remove the requirement that all taxing bodies participate equally, to be monitored by the TIF Joint Review Board at each of its scheduled meetings, reduce the financial impact of the TIF area so that the percentage loss of Equalized Assessed Evaluation (EAV) involved in the TIF will not exceed twice the average loss of EAV to each taxing body, and limit its use in new residential development, and make the recommendation of the Joint Review Board binding.  (11/06)

3.31 BOND AND INTEREST LEVY - The IASA shall attempt to have legislation passed that would permit a school district to increase the bond and interest levy to recover taxes lost from an adverse Property Tax Appeal Board Decision that caused the district to expend operating funds to amortize debt. (1/00)

3.32 TRUTH IN TAXATION - The IASA shall seek a modification in the Truth in Taxation Notice that would allow a school district to provide further information to the voting public in the form of explanatory comments which may be included in the statutorily mandated Truth in Taxation Notice. (11/06)

3.33 SALES TAX FOR SCHOOL DISTRICTS - The IASA shall advocate that the General Assembly study and consider legislation allowing school districts access to additional forms of financial revenue, both state and local sources, including but not limited to, sales tax revenue.  Further, any form of additional revenue for schools must provide that school districts determine the fund(s) in which to place the additional revenue. (11/06)

3.34 BIDDING CONTRACTS-LOCAL BIDDERS - The IASA shall support legislation that allows the local Board of Education to award a contract, under certain circumstances, to a qualified bidder that may not be the lowest responsible bidder.  The bid must not be more than 2% over the lowest responsible bid and the bidder must be considered a local contractor by the local Board of Education. (11/06)

3.35 NON RESIDENT STUDENT TUITION – The IASA shall support legislation to allow legally enrolled students who have become non-residents of the district to attend the school as a non-resident student, tuition-free, until the end of the grading period or school term, as determined by school board policy. The student shall not be charged tuition for the remainder of the grading period or school term in which he or she became a non-resident pupil. The legislation should allow students who are seniors in high school, and legally enrolled on the first day of school to continue in the district, tuition free, only until the end of that school year.

Updated – February 2013

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