While I am glad to answer your questions, school finance & the role of the tax levy can be a pretty lengthy subject. I would be glad to set up a meeting & discuss it in more detail, if you would like. You can reach me directly at 373-7353. The district currently receives no sales taxes. Unfortunately, the state relies almost exclusively on property taxes to finance k-12 education. You can find much more info on that subject by going to the Center for Tax & Budget Accountability’s website www.ctbaonline.org. A tax levy represents the total amount of property taxes that a taxing body can legally ask their tax payers for. In Champaign County the increase from one year to the next is severely limited by tax caps. You are correct in stating that property taxes can be used for anything. However, I have been a Business Manager for nearly 20 years & have never seen a school district be able to build new schools w/o some type of added property tax levy. The annual tax levy that we’re referring to is used for operating expenses. When school districts need new facilities, they usually ask voters for an additional amount of property taxes for these new facilities. This was the case in 2006 when the district tried to pass a $65 million property tax referendum. With new legislation passed in the last 2 years school districts can now ask for up to a 1% increase in sales taxes for facility purposes. Such was the case with the recent 1% sales tax referendum. The Board would have used some of the money to reduce property taxes (an estimated $45 to $50 o dollars on a home valued at $150,000) & used the rest for school construction.