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Meridian Board of Education seeks extension of current tax rate

Meridian did ask this question of the voters in Nov. of 2020 and was defeated.
A 2020 IRS 1040 Tax Return Form
A 2020 IRS 1040 Tax Return Form(Terri Russell)
Published: Feb. 22, 2021 at 10:19 AM CST
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STILLMAN VALLEY, Ill. (WIFR) - The Meridian Community Unit School District Number 223 Board of Education will seek to maintain the current education fund rate and will ask voters to consider this question on the April 2021 ballot.

Meridian has stated that the extension of the tax rate would be permanent, but would not increase the education fund tax rate from its current state, according to an announcement Monday morning.

Meridian did ask this question of the voters in Nov. of 2020 and was defeated. Superintendent Dr. PJ Caposey stated that he recommended putting the question back on the ballot.

“If the referendum fails we will be forced to make reductions that significantly impact the student experience. Whenever I can protect or enhance the student experience I feel compelled to at least ask that question,” Caposey said.

The district website has a significant amount of information on the referendum available here.

In addition, the district will also host a Facebook Live town hall meeting from 4 to 5 p.m. every Wednesday in March — with the exception of March 31 — on the MCUSD Facebook page. Also, on Saturday, March 6, there will be a face-to-face town hall meeting — all COVID-19 mitigations enforced — at 9 a.m. at the Stillman Valley Fire Department, 11 a.m. at the Monroe Center Fire Department and 1 p.m. at the Davis Junction Fire Department, according to an announcement Monday morning.

The district also recognizes that the ballot language is confusing. In order to ease some of the confusion the district is sharing the language as much as possible, including below. A “yes” vote is for the tax rate to stay at its current level and a “no” vote is for the tax rate to return to its 2013 level.

Below is the ballot language provided by Caposey:

Shall the maximum annual tax rate for educational purposes for Meridian Community Unit School District Number 223, Ogle and Winnebago Counties, Illinois, be established at 3.48 percent upon all the taxable property of said School District at the value, as equalized or assessed by the Department of Revenue, for levy year 2021 and the years thereafter, instead of 2.78 percent, the maximum rate otherwise applicable to the taxes to be extended in said years for said purposes?

(a) The approximate amount of taxes extendable for educational purposes under the maximum rate now in force in said School District is $6,686,863.

(b) The approximate amount of taxes extendable for educational purposes under the proposed increased rate is $6,686,863.

(c) The total dollar amount of the most recently approved annual budget of said School District is $21,230,109; the total dollar amount of said annual budget, if increased by the amount of additional tax which may be levied if the proposition is approved, is $21,230,109; the percentage of increase in the total dollar amount of the most recently approved annual budget of said School District, if such total dollar amount were increased by the amount of additional tax which may be levied if the proposition is approved, is 0 percent.

(d) The percentage of increase between the maximum rate at which such taxes for educational purposes may be levied if the proposition is approved and the annual rate at which such taxes for educational purposes is currently levied is 0 percent.

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