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On Dec. 13, the District 65 School Board approved a property tax levy for the 2010 property tax year in the amount of $89,943,010, a 2.22% increase over the previous year.

Mary Brown, the District’s chief financial officer, explained that the levy was calculated by starting with last year’s approved tax levy that was subject to the property tax cap, increasing that amount by 2.7% (the maximum permitted under the 2010 tax cap), and adding an amount attributable to potential new property added to the tax rolls in 2010. She then added an amount for debt service (which is not subject to the property tax cap). The amount levied for debt service for 2010 is about 15% less than the amount levied for debt service last year.

Dr. Brown said she built in a “very high estimate” of the amount attributable to potential new property added to the tax rolls so that the District would be sure to collect taxes on all new property. The Cook County Clerk will reduce the levy once the equalized assessed value of new property added to the tax rolls is known, which will not be until the fall of 2011, she said.

Dr. Brown said a more realistic estimate of the levy that will be approved by the Clerk is $77,959,842 for the portion subject to tax caps plus new property, and $10,375,705 for debt service, or a total of $88,335,547. This would be about 0.4% higher than the tax levy approved for 2009.