Skip to content

21% Mascoutah School District Property Tax Increase Proposed; Public Meeting to be Held

Above is the Mascoutah Administrative Support Center, where the meeting on Tuesday, Dec. 19 will take place. The 21% property tax increase does not mean a total 21% increase in property taxes for residents.

By Zachary Daum

mascherald@heraldpubs.com

Mascoutah residents recently received notice of a meeting set for December 19, 2023, addressing proposed property tax increases for Mascoutah Community Unit School District No. 19. The estimated 21% increase in total property taxes for 2023 has brought about concern, especially when compared to neighboring Lebanon’s proposed 9.32% increase and O’Fallon’s 7.741% increase. However, the 21% property tax increase does not mean a total 21% increase in property taxes for residents.

Superintendent Dr. Dave Deets and Director of Business Operations Dr. Brandon Taylor provided valuable insights into why this specific figure was chosen. Dr. Taylor began by explaining the intricacies of the taxing process, likening it to a percentage in reverse. He described the school district and the town as having a taxing body, and the rules dictate that to raise necessary funds, a specific levy amount, essentially a dollar figure, must be established. The challenge, as Dr. Taylor highlighted, was that they set this levy amount without knowing the Equalized Assessed Value (EAV) beforehand.

Using last year’s EAV as an example, Dr. Taylor noted a rate-setting EAV of $340 million for tax year 2022. The school district, aware of its financial needs, determined a requirement of $9 million from this sum. However, due to constraints, they could only access a certain percentage, specifically 1.84%. The final tax levy is calculated by multiplying $340 million by 1.84%. The catch, as Dr. Taylor emphasized the unpredictability of this process, was designed as a check and balance to keep the taxing bodies transparent.

Dr. Deets joined the conversation, pinpointing the challenge of basing initial numbers on blind estimates. To counteract this uncertainty, the school district intentionally overinflates the initial EAV, anticipating a likely decrease in the tax rate. Currently, the tax rate stands at approximately 4.77%, one of the lowest in St. Clair County. Dr. Deets clarified that the main driver of increased taxes is the rise in home values, a factor only clear after the submission of the request in the spring.

Both Deets and Taylor stressed the importance of accuracy in the tax estimation process. Dr. Deets acknowledged historical attempts to lower tax rates, highlighting the consequences of underestimating financial needs. The unique challenge for Mascoutah, as explained by Dr. Deets, lies in the substantial growth, not just in salaries and benefits but also in personnel.

Deets and Taylor also invited concerned residents to attend the meeting on December 19 at 7 PM at the Mascoutah Administrative Support Center, located at 421 W. Harnett Street. This meeting serves as a platform for the community to gain clarity on the proposed tax increase, voice concerns, and participate in an open dialogue with the school district. By attending, residents can actively contribute to the decision-making process and ensure transparency in addressing the challenges posed by Mascoutah’s growth and evolving economic landscape.

27 Comments

  1. Anonymous on December 18, 2023 at 2:52 pm

    instead of raising the taxes maybe they should cut some of the administration salaries and positions.

  2. Anonymous on December 17, 2023 at 2:55 pm

    This is a poorly written story that jumps around and does not seriously explain the process of taxation. Sadly, it is my experience that the Herald only reports what the district says in its press packet. There is no deeper dive into the business of the school board. In my experience, the school superintendent will honestly answer any question posed by a news reporter, but they will not volunteer information. A correspondent covers every school board meeting, but again, they only report what is in the press packet. They never follow up on anything. Good example: Dr. Fiegel retired and was “hired” as a consultant for impact aid issues. That little tidbit begged for a story on why this was necessary, but not a peep was heard from the Herald.

  3. Anonymous on December 16, 2023 at 10:01 pm

    I’m a retired veteran who does not get the property tax exemption and agree with those complaining about that particular benefit being out of control. The “disabled” vets getting the exemption for non-debilitating conditions like sleep apnea are doing just fine at my workplace. Such nonsense simply passes the burden on to everyone else, and with Scott AFB being a magnet for retirees, the percentage is undoubtedly MUCH higher than 1%.

  4. Anonymous on December 15, 2023 at 10:17 pm

    What do they do with all this extra money! They need to fix the roads so people can get to school!

  5. Anonymous on December 15, 2023 at 12:05 pm

    This is an extremely poor bit of inaccurate reporting. All the school is doing is the the same thing all districts do by capturing the EAV value which is more complicated than it needs to be. YOur taxes next year will be very similar to (or even less than) this years allotment to the school district. Home values have increased dramatically the past two years ang that is reflected in the assessment. Come to a board meeting and inform yourself if interested , but the way this article is presented is very poor journalism. Your tax rate to District 19 will NOT go up anywhere close to 21% if at all. This school board has done a tremendous job of keeping taxes in check and giving our community plenty of bang for their buck. It is imperative that we continue to allow them to provide first class education as well as the facilities that represent us so well as a growing community with so much potential. Don’t always believe what you read. Unfortunately.

    • Anonymous on December 15, 2023 at 9:05 pm

      While the Tax Rate may not increase, if your assessed value increases, your taxes increase. I’d like someone to be honest and give a real assessment of how much our taxes PAID will increase.

    • Anonymous on December 19, 2023 at 6:35 pm

      You do understand that a raise in EAV is a raise in property taxes?

    • Anonymous on December 19, 2023 at 6:38 pm

      It states early the rate won’t got up 21%.

      You do understand property tax uses EAV as calculation, correct?

  6. Anonymous on December 15, 2023 at 8:03 am

    This sounds like a grift, I’m going.

  7. Anonymous on December 15, 2023 at 6:30 am

    It’s well past time for the State of Illinois to rescind the Disabled Veterans property tax exemption.
    There are way too many properties not contributing to the tax rolls because of this Rauner era fiasco. It’s killing St. Clair and Cook counties and the legislature doesn’t have the spine to end it. Schmidt, Belt, Meier, et al are making excuses instead of jumping up and down in Springfield to end it. You, my dear citizens, are the ones paying for it.

    • Anonymous on December 15, 2023 at 9:35 am

      Our disabled veterans have paid more than their fair share to ensure our way of life.

      • Anonymous on December 15, 2023 at 9:26 pm

        Not going to disagree that there are plenty of people that legitimately have disabilities but there are also plenty of people abusing that system…

      • Anonymous on January 21, 2024 at 10:44 pm

        Please be informed before you post. When you enter the military, you are given a physical. When you exit the military, you are given a physical. No one is arguing that a combat veteran who is injured fighting the enemy or is injured in battle should be compensated. What happens now is that a veteran who spends their entire service in an administrative role gets disability for carpal tunnel, sleep apnea, etc. Any condition that did not exist upon entering the military is counted as a disability upon exiting. We have veterans who game the system to gain disability, work a $150k + job in civil service, and then get an exemption from paying property taxes on their $400K home, thus increasing taxes for the rest of us. This isn’t right but our politicians have no will to fix it.

    • Anonymous on December 15, 2023 at 12:07 pm

      There is nothing wrong with the Disabled Veterans property tax exemption… what is wrong is what they diagnose as a disability. For example.. sleep apnea is not a disability, but in the eyes of the government it is. There are LOTS of “disabled” veterans that live in 400K plus homes, but pay no property tax because they were diagnosed with sleep apnea as a disability. There are WAY to many sucking off this teat and has for years … wrong on all levels. I do know one thing, I will no be retiring in Mascoutah, there is no way I can afford or want to afford these taxes on retirement pay. I would much rather be spending my hard earned $$ and years of savings on other things than property taxes.

      • Anonymous on December 15, 2023 at 11:13 pm

        The one thing that is wrong besides what is considered a disability is that the local taxing district eats the cost. If the state wants to give the benefit then the state should reimburse. That way it is not unfairly hurt communities like mascoutah

      • Anonymous on December 16, 2023 at 8:42 am

        If you are knowledgeable of the VA calculation system then you know it takes a lot more than sleep apnea to acheive the required 70% to be exempt. There are diminishing returns in the calculation system. Your statement is either accidently inaccurate or intentionally inflamatory. And no one lives in a $400k+ home solely on a VA disability check. And to clarify, I am paying around $700 a month in property taxes, so no tossing out there I am a recipient of that benefit. And while the VA system definitely has issues, it is far from the cash dumpster fire that is student loan forgiveness. That is truly money for nothing.

    • Anonymous on December 15, 2023 at 12:07 pm

      Give us your logic as to why? Why shouldn’t disabled vets have this benefit? Illinois isn’t the only state to honor the LESS than one percent of society. What is your reasoning?

      • Anonymous on December 15, 2023 at 12:56 pm

        What is the amount of taxes forgone by this loop hole. I’ll bet not very much. I think we should look at the costs of administration and salaries for enlightenment of this cost structure

        • Anonymous on December 19, 2023 at 12:16 am

          School loses approx 2.4 million from the disabled veteran discount from what I understand. That’s a lot of money. Not against it but unfairly affecting mascoutah compared to other schools

    • Anonymous on December 15, 2023 at 7:15 pm

      Are you or any of your friends or family veterans?

    • Anonymous on December 16, 2023 at 9:40 am

      If the “veterans” weren’t here, Mascoutah would be a town of about 2,000 people. You should be grateful for them AND their service!

  8. Anonymous on December 14, 2023 at 8:34 pm

    Seriously?! Are you kidding me?! This is ridiculous! This town has always higher taxes than surrounding towns and with the way things are it’s putting a strain on families. Families shouldn’t have to pick what they’re able to pay for do to fact that the costs keep going up but no real growth(business wise) is growing. I understand that in order for the schools to be updated & things added….priorities are needed. If it isn’t a necessity then it shouldn’t be considered. What should be considered are the constituents of the town and how they are able to manage day to day. Our taxes are high enough as it is…..enough!

  9. Anonymous on December 14, 2023 at 6:20 pm

    This is completely unfair to all the older/elderly/ppl who live pay check to pay check that live in town. They should NOT have to worry about moving etc…because their taxes keep going up. Absolutely terrible!!

  10. Anonymous on December 14, 2023 at 5:12 pm

    Nice, just in time for the higher property insurance premiums coming and the county taxes will no doubt increase again for the 20th plus year in a row. All while the Federal government keeps taking, no one can afford this and health insurance premiums are going up more than most people will get for a raise this year, if they get one. Seriously, when does it end? When do these taxing bodies tighten their budgets and cut stuff out?

  11. Anonymous on December 14, 2023 at 10:33 am

    That’s pathetic. Hopefully just capturing all EAV and keeping same rate. But if increasing the rate, time to vote out the school board. Spending millions on wants vs needs and expecting cash strapped citizens to pay more. (Middle school turf, etc) I love mentioned one of lowest rates. Who cares. Tighten the belts and keep tax rates lower here

    • Anonymous on December 14, 2023 at 8:41 pm

      My bet is our taxes will be lower next year than this year. If people would go to the board meetings they would already know that they are just capturing the increase in eav, which will make everyone’s taxes cheaper. I have been to a couple board meetings the past year and I have not seen anyone from the local newspaper at the meeting. Hard to report what goes on if they aren’t there.

      • Anonymous on December 19, 2023 at 12:17 am

        Hope you are right and they truly need all the extra EAV vs just capturing it all to get extra money don’t need

Leave a Comment