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Mercer County Board of Education: Tax levy rate will be reduced slightly
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Mercer County Board of Education: Tax levy rate will be reduced slightly

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The Mercer County Board of Education learned the upcoming levy should generate approximately $365,000 in additional revenue for the school district based on a rising equalized assessed valuation of property in the county. The proposed tax rate of $4.849 is slightly lower than last year’s rate of $4.859 per $100 of assessed valuation. ”For the owner of a $100,000 home this is a reduction of $3.33,” said Scott Petrie, superintendent.

The 2019 EAV was 160,000,000 with 2020 rising to a 167,905,614 estimate. “We discussed our ability to raise nearly $8 million in Working Cash Bonds without affecting the current tax rate due to historically low rates and a growing EAV,” said Petrie. There will be a Truth in Taxation hearing prior to the Dec. 16 school board meeting.

“Although the dollar increase in the levy is below the 5% threshold, in the interest of transparency, we will hold a Truth in Taxation hearing prior to the regular December meeting,” Petrie added. “This provides the public a special notice and opportunity to ask questions.”

According to the most recent Mercer County School Report Card, which can be found on the district’s web site (www.mercerschools.org), the district has 1,291 students. The report card lists the 2018-2019 total expenses per pupil at $10,274, about 65 percent below the state level of $14,492 per pupil.

In other business the board approved the resignation of temporary custodian Lonnie Maynard and approved hiring Intermediate teacher Amanda DeFauw, long term substitute paraprofessional Jessy Huston, temporary custodian Douglas Campbell and three vocational personnel: Fred Lucas, Hannah Libby and Brandon Livingston.

The board also put the annual commercial insurance up for bids, agreeing to inform Prairie State Insurance Coop of the resolution to withdraw from their policy.

The board also approved raising substitute non-certified employee salaries from $10 to $11 per hour.

A discussion about the upcoming winter sports season led to a motion to support students by resuming the winter sport season as soon as the state reaches a Tier II level for COVID-19. That motion failed.

The board also approved continuing its membership in the Association of Illinois Rural and Small Schools for the annual cost of $400.

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