RPS 205 keeps tax levy flat for 6th straight year

ROCKFORD — The Rockford School Board voted this week to keep its tax levy at the same level for a sixth consecutive year.

RPS 205’s tax rate peaked at $7.93 in 2015 before dropping to $7.80 in 2016. The board had recommended a $7.72 rate this year and plans to collect a flat levy again at $154.5 million, below its allowable rate under state law.

“Our school board has illustrated strong fiscal responsibility,” said Superintendent Ehren Jarrett in a statement. “We’re trying to do our part to relieve the tax burden and still invest in our students with high-quality education. I believe that’s what’s right for our community.”

The district says the equalized assessed value (EAV) of properties have declined from a peak of around $3 billion in 2008 to just under $2 billion today, a concern shared by taxing bodies across the Rockford region.

The board lowered its tax levy from $170 million to $157 million for the 2012 fiscal year and has maintained the lower level of collections since. RPS says it was encouraged by an upward trend in property values in Rockford, a view shared by the Park District in its most recent financial outlook.

“The public schools are trying to do more with less as the region’s property values continue to recover,” said Jarrett. “We want to be part of the solution in RPS 205.” R.

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