Superintendent’s report to the BOE regarding Carle tax exemptionTweet
Superintendent’s Report to the BOE
April 16, 2013
In Sunday’s (April 14, 2013) News-Gazette, Tom Kacich wrote about the Carle tax exemption: http://www.news-gazette.com/news/local/2013-04-14/6-million-setback.html
“A property tax exemption given to the Carle Foundation will cost more than two dozen taxing districts in Champaign County nearly $6 million in lost revenue this year. Hardest hit will be the Urbana school district, which will lose more than $3 million. That amounts to about 5 percent of the district’s approximately $60 million budget.”
Although this statement is accurate, there are a number of additional facts that help explain the rest of the story and how the tax exemption has and will continue to impact students in our schools.
- The tax exemption issue is not new. Carle has been in litigation with the taxing districts since 2004
- Urbana School District and its Board of Education have been good stewards of public funds
- Urbana schools have not spent the property dollars collected from Carle for the four properties in question for the past 8 years (Roughly $10M in escrow)
- Urbana schools have lost nearly $8M in general state aide over the past 8 years because the State Board of Education bases our general state aide on how much is collected in taxes regardless of if we are able to spend it.
- Although we have been aware of the financial impact, the most recent tax exemption granted to Carle under the new legislation includes additional properties that total an additional $1.4M in lost tax tax revenue for this year.
- USD116 has been providing outstanding schools in an outstanding community during this entire time: We have been awarded recognition by ISBE, U.S. News and World Report, and the College Board.
- There have been real effects in terms of budget cuts and there will continue to be discussions with the Board of Education, but this situation will not interfere with our Strategic Plan, our mission, or our dedication to the students and families of this community.
Mayor Prussing is exactly right when she stated that this boils down to the people (tax payers) of Urbana supporting the charity care for an entire regional health care corporation. This issue will not be resolved quickly or easily. This issue has already had a negative impact on the educational funding in this community. It is unlikely we will ever be able to recoup the $8M in general state aide.; however, we will not allow this situation to interfere with our commitment to educational excellence and providing outstanding schools for our students and our community. Our hope is that the negative impact will not continue indefinitely and that our community members will continue to support USD116, its mission, and its students.