D181 Board approves $98 million budget

Spending plan sets aside money for tax rebate, new district headquarters, Rising Stars

Community Consolidated Elemen-tary District 181 Board members unanimously approved a fiscal year 2023 budget Monday that forecasts almost $76.8 million in operating revenues and about $68.2 million in operating expenses. The total budget for all funds projects $80 million in revenues and $81.7 million in expenses.

Revenues are expected to increase 2.8 percent. One factor is the anticipated increase in corporate personal property replacement tax receipts from $1.14 million this fiscal year to $1.17 million next year. Both amounts are significantly higher than the $549,800 collected in FY 2020.

The district receives 90 percent of its revenue — or about $69.1 million — from local property taxes. Other operating revenues include tuition/fees, interest on investments, building rentals, and state and federal funding. The district has five operating funds — education, operations and maintenance, transportation, IMRF/Social Security and working cash.

The board approved two transfers Monday that also will be available for FY 2023 expenses. About $8.3 million was transferred from the operations and maintenance fund to the capital projects fund to cover the cost of $2.7 million in annual capital improvements and provide $5.5 million to help procure a new district office center if a location can be found. A nearly $6.4 million transfer from the education fund to the debt services fund includes $5.9 million the board expects to return to taxpayers in the form of a tax abatement next year. The final amount will be determined in February, according to Rick Engstrom, assistant superintendent of business and operations.

The 3.3 percent increase in operating expenses reflects salary increases for administrators and nonunion salaried employees (5 percent) and those stipulated in the contracts with teachers (HCHTA) and support staff (HESS). Health care costs are expected to increase 6 percent, or about $348,000.

Salaries at $46.2 million (almost 68 percent) and benefits at $9.2 million (13 percent) for the equivalent of 558 full-time employees are the district’s two biggest operating expenses. Other operating costs include purchased services, supplies and materials, capital outlay, noncapitalized equipment and termination benefits.

The budget also allocates $800,000 for technology and $600,000 for textbook adoption, according to the district’s five-year plans, as well as $542,000 for the new Rising Stars program.

The tentative budget has been on display since May 17. Holding a public hearing and formally adopting the document is the final step the board must take before the spending plan is filed with the county clerks in Cook and DuPage and submitted to the Illinois State Board of Education. The deadline for filing is July 21.

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Pamela Lannom is editor of The Hinsdalean