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District #100 School Board to Vote on Proposed Bond Refunding

A tax break could be on tap for Belvidere home owners in the New Year, in part because of a tax shift.

BELVIDERE- Property tax payers are about to get a break. The District #100 School Board is looking to do a proposed bond refunding. It's similar to refinancing a home loan.

"The expectation when these bonds were issued would be that we would still be increasing in enrollment and our property values would be rising and there would be more houses and more tax payers here to share the responsibility of the payment," said Belvidere School District Superintendent Michael Houselog.

But that's not the case. Enrollment is actually declining. So now a refunding would reduce the amount of taxes Belvidere property owners pay to District #100 in 2014.

"The owner of a 100 thousand dollar house should realize 175 dollars worth of savings from doing this current refunding of the bonds," said Belvidere School District Chief Financial Officer Greg Brown.

One other big reason; voters approved a 1% county sales tax for schools. The Belvidere School District will start receiving funds from the sales tax increase in April 2014.

"We are expected to receive about 2 1/2 million dollars a year for District 100 and District 200 will receive  about half a million dollars," said Houselog.

Those dollars will go towards paying back the bonds and giving home owners a break.

"We’re really refinancing and spreading out those payments for a longer period of time pushing the current payment that we should make all the way out to the end of the payment," said Houselog.

District #100 is holding a special finance meeting on Monday. That’s when the school board will take action on the bond refunding.

Stephenson County will ask voters next year to approve a sales tax for area schools. That too would be in part to relieve some of the burden on homeowners.

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