Richmond-Burton D-157 to return $800K in taxes

RICHMOND – District 157 taxpayers will see their property taxes drop this year.

The Richmond-Burton Community High School board unanimously approved an $800,000 abatement, which will more than offset an increase in the levy.

The board also unanimously approved a $9.6 million levy, which is designed to collect all of the 3 percent increase allowed under the tax cap law, plus any new growth.

The meeting was quick and discussion was brief, in sharp contrast to Tuesday’s meeting of the Nippersink District 2 school board, which lasted three hours and had more than an hour of public comment.

The two school districts cover the same area and share many staff members, including their superintendent.

Only two visitors, Gary and Debbie Tiritilli, attended Wednesday’s meeting. Tiritilli thanked the board for considering the abatement and asked members to reconsider the increase on the levy, citing the area’s high foreclosure rate.

At the Nippersink board meeting Tuesday, where an abatement also was discussed, the Tiritillis were in the minority. Parent after parent cited programs and improvements they would like to see rather than have tax money returned to them.

Richmond-Burton board secretary and finance committee member Joe Busch said he was comfortable the district could afford the abatement and plans the district has. “In effect, we’re giving back what we don’t need,” he said.

Superintendent Dan Oest echoed that, saying the district will be able to make any needed security upgrades.

The abatement translates to $143 less in property taxes on a house valued at $200,000, Oest said. But taxpayers will not see all of that in savings because of the levy increase.

The Nippersink school board did not vote on an abatement. It has until March to decide whether to approve one and have it go into effect this year.

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