PLANO – Plano School District 88 was chosen as one of 39 school districts in the state to get a piece of a $53.6 million property tax relief grant for fiscal year 2020.
According to a news release from the Illinois State Board of Education, Plano was chosen out of 233 districts that applied for the funding. Districts that are awarded the relief grant have the highest tax rates within three different categories: elementary, high school or unit district, the release said.
The $53.6 million grant, which will be disbursed to the 39 districts, will replace a total of $57.3 million in local property taxes, according to the ISBE news release.
Tony Baker, superintendent for Plano School District 88, said school district officials were excited to receive the news last week. He said the district will be receiving more than $1.7 million from the state, which will mean the district will have to abate a total of more than $1.8 million at minimum, with the abated amount being split accordingly between all property owners within school district boundaries.
"It's a great win for our district and our community," Baker said.
The ISBE news release said 11 more districts were awarded money this year because of policy changes at the state level, which expanded eligibility for additional districts. The policy changes allow the grant amount to become a permanent part of district's base funding moving forward.
The Property Tax Relief Grant is state funding that comes from the Evidence-Based Funding for Student Success Act, which allows eligible school districts to cut local property taxes and replace that revenue with state funds, the release said.
Baker said the Plano school district has been passing property tax abatements for the last six years and this is the first year they will receive state reimbursement for the abatement. From the 2013 to 2018 tax years, he said, a property owner whose home is valued at $250,000 has saved more than $3,500.
Baker said the abatement doesn't amount to a noticable reduction from the school district's portion of a property tax bill once everything is said and done.
"But it's enough where it certainly helps reduce the burden" for taxpayers, Baker said.
Baker said next steps include filing the abatement with Kendall County by March 30 and completing the abatement certification form by April 15. He said more information on the grant funds and the property tax abatement process will be presented to the school board and the public during the board's meeting scheduled for 6 p.m. Feb. 24 at Plano High School, 704 W. Abe St.