Beginning in FY 19, the State Board will provide up to $50 million in property tax relief grants to eligible school districts. Eligible districts are those that exceed a threshold tax rate and that agree to abate a portion of taxes, up to a statutory limit, in the coming tax cycle. In return, qualifying districts receive a state grant in an amount that is a proportion of the tax relief provided.
District adjusted operating tax rates are compared on what statute terms a unit equivalent basis. For unit districts, the adjusted operating tax rate is unaltered. For elementary districts the rate is multiplied by a factor of 13/9. For high school districts the rate is multiplied by a factor of 13/4. The result is termed the Unit Equivalent Tax Rate.
Eligible districts are those with Unit Equivalent Tax Rates that exceed the threshold Unit Equivalent Tax Rate. That threshold rate is determined based on the data for districts that apply for this program and will not be known until all applications have been received and reviewed. Grants are prioritized in order of highest Unit Equivalent Tax Rates among grant applicants.
The tax relief a district is eligible to provide may be no greater than the lesser of (A) 1% of EAV for a unit district, 0.69% of EAV for an elementary school district, or 0.31% of EAV for a high school district, or (B) the difference between the district’s Unit Equivalent Tax Rate and the threshold Unit Equivalent Tax Rate. If the latter is the lesser amount and the difference is less than 1%, that difference is further modified by multiplying the difference by 1 for a Unit district, by 0.69 for an elementary district and by 0.31 for a high school district.
The grant amount a district may receive is equal to a percentage of the tax relief provided, which is calculated as (1 – Local Capacity Percentage2). Districts may view the amount of tax relief provided locally that may be paid as a state property tax relief grant by viewing the FY 19 Property Tax Relief file located below.
Property tax relief grant amounts received in FY 19 will be included in future calculations of those districts’ Base Funding Minimum amounts, per 18-8.15 of the School Code. Future grant amounts are subject to appropriations.