LT eyes 3.5 percent budget increase
Updated: September 24, 2012 7:05AM
LA GRANGE — The Lyons Township High School District 204 Board reviewed a tentative spending plan of $68.5 million Aug. 20, up $2.3 million from $66.2 million in 2011-12, when a 3.7 percent spending increase had been forecast.
Revenues are anticipated to increase by 3 percent, or $2 million, to $68.7 million from $66.7 million, leaving a projected surplus of $238,000 after expenditures.
Salaries are projected to increase by 3.3 percent, which includes adding 3.6 teaching positions to accommodate an enrollment increase of 56 students totaling 4,030 students. Employee benefit costs are projected to rise by 10.4 percent over the amount budgeted a year ago, when actual costs were $582,000 higher than expected.
Like last year, $2.3 million is budgeted for summer maintenance and improvement projects, which is split between two budget years with $846,000 set aside for 2013 projects.
The primary source of increased revenue is property tax, up by 4.2 percent from $56.4 million to $58.8 million. The increase comes despite not having a major addition on the tax rolls. In recent years the district benefited from the Burr Ridge Town Center in 2009, the expiration of the La Grange Tax Increment Financing District in 2010 and the expiration of the Hodgkins Quarry shopping center TIF in 2011.
TIF districts freeze property taxes paid to schools and other taxing districts for a period of time, with taxes from any increase in property value going into a special fund to pay for improvements within the district. When the TIF ends, the diversion ends, and taxing districts start reaping the benefit.
Other revenue sources are expected to decrease. Corporate Personal Property Replacement Tax revenue, reflective of the recession, is projected to drop by $600,000. Interest on investments is expected to dip $107,000, and general state aid will decrease by $64,000.
David Sellers, director of business services, told the board projections are being finalized of state revenue, medical claims and special education tuition costs for out-of-district programs. Any changes in the budget likely would be minor, Sellers said.
The board is expected to further review and approve the proposed budget at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 17 in the Board Room at the north campus, 100 S. Brainard Ave., La Grange. ~.