The Oswego District 308 school board voted 6-0 in favor of adopting the 2012 tentative levy with a 4.98 percent increase.
Assistant superintendent Paul O’Malley said this levy is just a proposal that must still be approved by the County clerk. He said the clerk is expected to reduce the proposal from the suggested 4.98 percent to near 3.1 percent.
“The reason we levy higher is there could be new property,” said O’Malley. “If we fail to capture that new property, those new obligations will fall on the current taxpayer.”
For example, O’Malley provided a home assessed at $300,000 and said under the new levy there would be an increase of about $8 a month, or about $90 a year. A home assessed at $100,00 would see an increase of about $2.50 a month, or about $30 a year.
“We have no control over assessed evaluation,” O’Malley added.
Many residents turned out to ask the board to consider the 20 percent tax levy referendum that 71 percent of voters asked for on election day.
“We’re spending lots of money on wonderful buildings and wonderful things,” said Oswego resident Cynthia Rook. “But what’s important here are the kids.” She continued that everyone is facing a hard financial time and residents are asking for cuts. “It has to happen. It can happen.”
Gregory O’Neil, a member of the Kendall County Tax Revolt, said a segment of the population can’t afford to live in Oswego.
“It’s not that we don’t want to have a world class system,” O’Neil said. “We just can’t afford it.”
Superintendent Matthew Wendt reminded the board and public that the district started their 2013 budget with a deficit of over $7 million that was brought down to $5.5 million in the first draft to the public.
Through cuts the budget was approved with a $2.6 million deficit.
“I’d like to be so bold to say this increase will take care of the shortfall,” Wendt said.