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Kathy Zalewski, comptroller for School District 65, presented new five-year financial projections at the Board’s Finance Committee meeting on Feb. 11. The projections show operating surpluses of $1.6 million for 2013-14 and $437,021 for 2014-15, and then operating deficits of $1.3 million for 2015-16, $4.5 million for 2016-17 and $6.3 million for 2017-18.

The projections show a less favorable picture than the projections presented in September 2012. In the earlier projections, the District projected it would operate at a surplus through the 2015-16 school year, and then a deficit of $3 million in 2016-17.

Ms. Zalewski said the latest projections are less favorable because the 2012 Consumer Price Index (which caps property taxes) was 1.7 percent, versus the 2.5 percent assumed in the September projections; the State of Illinois continues to issue a more pessimistic outlook regarding the State’s finances for 2013-14, and estimates of future state revenues have been reduced; and student enrollment is expected to increase by 474 students by the 2016-17 school year, which will require more teachers.

Ms. Zalewski added that the latest projections do not include any amounts for payments from the City out of TIF funds. In the past District 65 has received about $400,000 from TIF funds each year, she said, but there is debate on whether the City will make TIF payments to the school districts in future years or use the funds for other capital projects.