Analysis: Facing a budget deficit, Oswego CUSD 308 property owners must decide between more taxes or more cuts
Oswego CUSD 308 has seen its enrollment increase by 232 percent over the past 20 years.
School tax bills for Oswego homeowners are also climbing steadily -- up 24 percent, from $6,230 per student in 1997-1998 to $7,737 in 2017-2018, adjusted for inflation, according to an analysis by the Kendall County Times.
District enrollment climbed to 18,096 in 2017-2018 from 5,457 in 1997-1998, the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) reports. Total district tax revenue rose from $34 million to $140 million over the same period adjusted for inflation.
The analysis comes as Oswego residents head to the polls on April 2 to vote on an operating tax rate increase.
If approved, the additional tax revenue would go into the district's general fund to help pay for day-to-day expenses including staff costs, building operations, classroom supplies and materials, and transportation costs. The district maintains that it would end a multi-year budget deficit that recently saw a proposed $3.9 million in cuts brought before the district board.
Higher property taxes for Oswego
Already-strained Oswego property taxpayers will see a 30-cent operating tax rate increase per $100 of equalized assessed valuation if the measure passes, bringing the property tax rate up from 4.9453 percent to 5.2453 percent this year.
That means owners of homes valued at $200,000 will pay an estimated $182 more in property taxes each year.
Property taxes covered 62 percent of District 308's total spending in 2017, according to the ISBE. That's down from 64 percent in 1997.
An August 2018 report found that the median home tax bill in Oswego for 2017 was $7,074, or an effective property tax rate of 2.95 percent. That's more than twice the U.S. national average of 1.19 percent.
The median home price in Oswego for the first six months of 2018 was $240,000, down 16 percent from $284,974 (inflation-adjusted) in April 2009.