Analysis: On eve of $22 million bond vote, Komarek SD 94 sees enrollment climb, but taxes fall
Komarek SD 94 has seen its enrollment climb by 66 percent over the past 20 years.
School tax bills for district homeowners have fallen, though -- down 13.4 percent, from $13,065 per student in 1997-1998 to $11,517 in 2017-2018, adjusted for inflation, according to an analysis by the West Cook News.
District enrollment climbed to 559 in 2017-2018 from 336 in 1997-1998, the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) reports. Total district tax revenue rose from $4.39 million to $6.44 million over the same period adjusted for inflation.
The analysis comes as district residents head to the polls on April 2 to vote on a $22 million referendum.
The money from the referendum would go toward a complete revamp of the Komarek campus, including building a new 6,750-square-foot gymnasium, a 51-spot parking lot, a new sky bridge, new classrooms, a new library and adding green space. The current west building, which was built in the 1950s, would also undergo a major renovation to bring it up to current standards; all major mechanical units would be updated, including adding much-needed air conditioning; and the out-dated technology infrastructure would be updated.
Higher property taxes for North Riverside
If the referendum passes, the burden for paying for the additional bonds will fall almost entirely on North Riverside property taxpayers. The district has said the owner of a home valued at $250,000 can expect to pay $351 more in property taxes in 2020. Then, over the next 10 years, the rate would continue to increase by approximately $60 each year before leveling off at $1,043 annually for the second 10 years.
Property taxes covered 77 percent of District 94's total spending in 2017, according to the ISBE. That's down from 115 percent in 1997.
An October 2018 report found that the median home tax bill in North Riverside in 2017 was $4,404 or an effective property tax rate of 1.91 percent. The average U.S. property tax rate is 1.19 percent.
The median home price in North Riverside for the first six months of 2018 was $233,000, down 13 percent from $268,457 (inflation-adjusted) in March 2009.