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Central Illinois school system a step closer to borrowing to offset pandemic-related losses


BLOOMINGTON (HOI) - The District 87 School Board is a step closer to approving a borrowing plan with the potential of raising property taxes.

The board voted unanimously Wednesday night to schedule a public hearing June 24 on a plan to sell $15 million in working cash bonds, hoping investors buy those bonds to offset revenue declines tied to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The plan gives the Bloomington district flexibility to sell up to $17 million in bonds if interest rates are so low that additional borrowing would not raise the tax rate any further, said Superintendent Barry Reilly.

Assuming there's no change in taxable land values, Reilly predicted the tax rate would rise one to three cents, which equates to an increase next year of between $5.83 to $17.50 for the owner of a $175,000 home.

The district's current tax rate is $5.15 per $100 of assessed valuation.

The board is expected to take final action on the borrowing plan at its August 12 meeting.

Howard Packowitz

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