SYCAMORE – Though a proposed Sycamore School District 427 property tax levy decreased its rate slightly from last year, Sycamore residents might still see an increase on their property tax bills if their home value went up in 2022.
The levy – unanimously approved by the Sycamore school board Tuesday which won’t be finalized until Dec. 27 – is expected to collect for the district $40.9 million in property tax revenue, an increase of 6.58% over the $38.4 million collected in the 2021 levy.
A tax levy is an economic tool governing bodies, such as school districts, use to collect money from residents’ property tax bills, which often go to bolster the district’s operating budget. School districts often account for the largest portion a homeowner will pay on their property tax bills.
Though Sycamore schools plan to collect more property tax revenue in the 2022 levy, school officials said the slight decrease in its rate – from 5.99% last year to 5.93% this year – was possible because of $12.5 million worth of new development added to the city’s tax rolls over the past year.
The rate decrease district officials chose might not be enough to lower residents’ tax bills, however.
Nicole Stuckert, District 427′s assistant superintendent for business services, told the school board this week the district’s 2022 levy will go down about 7 cents from last year.
Although the tax rate has gone down, home values have risen dramatically over the past year. The equalized assessed value for the county has changed by an estimated 8% from 2021 to 2022, according to estimations provided to the district by the DeKalb County assessor’s office, officials said.
The district’s tax levy calculations don’t factor in those new home values, Stuckert said.
“Again, this is just based on what your home valuation is currently,” Stuckert said. “If your home value is going up based on your assessment from your county assessor’s office, that doesn’t play into these numbers.”
According to district calculations which don’t factor in increased home values, the owner of a home valued at $100,000 in 2021 paid about $2,000 to the school district through their tax bill. If that home were to remain valued at $100,00 this year – not likely, according to home value trends – a resident might expect to pay $1,977.
Stuckert said if your home value has increased by more than 6.92% over the past year, it’s likely property owners will pay more on their bills. Estimates from the county assessor’s office show that home values have likely increased by 8% this year.
School District 427 has until the last Tuesday in December, Dec. 27, to file the proposed levy with the DeKalb County Clerk and Recorder’s office.
The levy will be verified in early spring 2023, and DeKalb County tax payers can expect to receive a tax bill by June 2023.
Correction: This story was corrected as of 6:20 p.m. Friday, Dec. 2, 2022 after an earlier version incorrectly stated what Sycamore property owners might be expected to pay for their School District 427 portion of their property tax bill. Sycamore homeowners will likely still see an increase in the amount they owe to the school district if their home values rose in 2022.