Vote to cut Bannockburn schools tax levy benefits working families, board member says
Working families are the primary beneficiaries of a recent Bannockburn School District 106 board vote to cut the district's upcoming tax levy, board member Jake Leahy said during a recent interview.
"This helps out the working families of Bannockburn School District 106 the most," Leahy told the Lake County Gazette. "Given the tendency for people to be overtaxed on virtually anything and everything in Illinois, this represents one moment of sanity which will hopefully spread across to other governmental units."
Leahy said on his Facebook page the school board on Nov. 21 unanimously voted to cut the upcoming school year's tax levy by a little more than 5 percent, from $5,796,231 to $5,496,223. "At a time when property taxes in Illinois and Lake County continue to skyrocket, this represents a clear concern for the hard-working families in the district," Leahy said in his Facebook post.
"A primary goal of mine on the school board is to provide an example of good government and fiscal responsibility for the rest of the state. This one step demonstrates fiscally conservative leadership can begin to turn Illinois around," he said in the posting.
The school board voted as it did because the school district has enough in reserve, exceeding state recommended levels, Leahy said. "This is important because at a time when units of government across the state continue to nickel and dime their constituents and as they raise taxes as much as possible every year, this represents an action of sanity which should be publicized to show other elected officials that the status quo can be put to an end," Leahy said.
The school district's administration had initially proposed a $100,000 reduction, Leahy said. "However, after discussion, it was determined that more can be done," he said.
Viewed more broadly, Leahy said taxpayers ought to know that Illinois' "abysmal finances" have been produced by "incompetent, self-interested, career politicians" but that citizens can make a huge impact on local governments by step up to make a difference, he said. "Additionally, taxpayers in the district should know that while their neighbors' property taxes continue to go through the roof, theirs will not be seeing that same increase," Leahy said.
"Rather the portion of their bill which goes to K-8 education will be cut by 5 percent," he said in the posting.
Leahy said Bannockburn school board members hope to continue cutting the levy in the future. "Once Illinois' finances become a bit more clear in regards to potential pension cost shifts, etc., we will be able to continue to make reductions in the tax bill for taxpayers in Bannockburn School District 106," he said.