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Which school districts tax the most per student?

By Jake Griffin

When it comes to his school district’s finances, Addison Elementary District 4 Superintendent John Langton is fully aware of the shortcomings of his property tax base.

The district will collect nearly $28.7 million in property taxes this year. But spread among the 4,151 students, that’s just $6,907 per pupil. That’s far below the average of $12,432 in property taxes collected per student for 92 suburban school districts, according to a Daily Herald analysis of Illinois Board of Education reports.

“The main reason for the huge differences has to do with property tax wealth,” said Larry Joseph, director of fiscal policy at Chicago-based Voices for Illinois Children. “The heavy reliance on property taxes to fund schools combined with the weak support from the state just makes for very large fiscal disparities.”

School districts get about 70 percent of an average person’s property tax bill. Districts with low property values don’t get much in the way of property taxes.

State and federal aid is available for school districts where a lot of students come from low-income homes, but Joseph said those payments rarely make up for the lower property tax income.

“State aid is designed to mitigate the disparities in property tax wealth, not eliminate it,” he said.

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Read the full article DailyHerald.com.

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