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.
FY 19 Property Tax Relief Grant Application
The FY19 PTRG application period has ended. Stay tuned for information regarding the FY20 program.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are the property tax relief grants provided in the same amount as my district’s tax abatement?
Grant amounts do not equal 100% of property tax abatement amounts. No district receives a grant that fully compensates for taxes abated. The grant amount a district may receive is equal to (1 – Local Capacity Percentage2). In the Excel file labeled Preliminary Property Tax Relief Grant and Percentage of Tax Relief as a State Grant, the percentage of the abatement that may be paid as a state grant appears in column L.
By submitting an application, is my district locked into the program if selected as grant recipient?
It is possible to apply for the grant, be informed of eligibility for the grant and then to decide not to abate taxes and submit the final documents that would earn a grant award. If the program is undersubscribed due to eligible applicants deciding not to abate taxes and participate, remaining funds will be distributed as tier funding at the end of the fiscal year. However, please understand that an applicant who receives notice of grant eligibility and chooses not to accept the grant may prevent another district from participating in the program.
The application requires an entry for Expected Tax Relief. What amount should I list in this field?
The maximum possible tax relief that a district may provide is found in highlighted column J in the Excel file labeled Preliminary Property Tax Relief Grant and Percentage of Tax Relief as a State Grant. Districts may select to abate an amount equal to that amount or something less. The grant provided in response to the abatement is equal to the amount of the abatement multiplied by the percentage of tax relief, found in column L.
If my district is selected as a grant recipient and decides to go forward with the abatement, would we need to reapply every year?
PTRG is a one year grant program. Districts must apply annually if they wish to be considered for the future grant cycles.
Will my Property Tax Relief Grant (PTRG) be added to my Base Funding Minimum (BFM)?
Any grants received by a school district shall be included in future calculations of that school district’s BFM under Section 18-8.15 of the School Code. [105 ILCS 5/2-3.170(k)]
How will the inclusion of the PTRG in my BFM affect my future Tier funding?
BFM is one of the components of Final Resources which is the numerator or top of the ratio that is a district’s Percent of Adequacy. The inclusion of PTRG in BFM will, all other factors held constant, bring a district closer to Adequacy which could impact the Tier assignment in any given year. Depending on funds appropriated for Tier distribution, this could result in a lower amount of Tier funding.
My district is subject to the Property Tax Extension Limitation Law (PTELL). How will this program affect my levy?
For districts subject to PTELL, in the year following the receipt of a PTRG, the aggregate levy of any school district receiving a grant shall include the tax relief the school district provided in the previous taxable year. [105 ILCS 5/2-3.170(l)]
Where do I apply the abatement or record the grant funds?
Statute does not specify how this should be recorded. There are no restrictions or requirements about which funds to abate or which fund is used for deposit of grant funds.
Will the PTRG be available next year?
In order for the PTRG to be available in any given fiscal year, the General Assembly must increase appropriations for Evidence-Based Funding by $350 Million dollars or more.
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