The Joliet Junior College Board of Trustees approved the 2013 tax levy along with abating the tax levy on $11 million of debt service at the Dec. 10 meeting.
The requested levy, excluding debt service, is $47.5 million and represents a 2.71% increase over the 2012 tax levy. The actual extended levy is estimated to be $46.9 million based on the property tax extension limitation law.
In addition, the Board approved tax abatements totaling $11 million that relate to past bonds issued as part of the college’s Master Plan. When the college embarked on its 2008-2013 Master Plan, its financing strategy was predicated upon the idea of shared financial responsibility between students, taxpayers, and the private and not-for-profit sector. The debt service payments on the 2008, 2012 and 2013 bond issues are the student’s responsibility, so the Board is following through on its commitment to completely abate the tax levy associated with those bond issues. The 2009 bond issue was issued due to the community voting in favor of the 2008 referendum. Those bonds were issued as Build America bonds, which entitles the college to a partial rebate of interest costs from the U.S. Treasury Department. The college is passing that rebate back to the taxpayers of the district through the tax abatement.
In terms of the FY14 operating budget, this is the 41st consecutive year that the college’s operating budget has been balanced. The total FY14 operating budget is $83,523,727, a $21,375 decrease from the FY13 budget. In the FY14 budget, tuition rates will remain the same at $107 per credit hour for an in-district resident. In order to present a balanced budget, the college cut approximately $500,000 in supplies, contractual services and travel funds and restructured the fitness center operational plan in order to achieve $280,000 in estimated savings.