School funding reform veto could hurt District 186

School funding reform veto could hurt District 186. (WICS)

One of the changes Gov. Bruce Rauner made to Senate Bill 1 could potentially cause District 186 to lose out on funding down the road.

In Illinois, education funding is based on property wealth.

That means the less property wealth you have, the more state assistance you get.

Under Rauner's amendatory veto, he changed how properties inside TIF districts would be assessed.

He wants land in TIF districts to be assessed at their full value. He said TIFs cause some communities to under-report property wealth.

This concerns District 186 Superintendent Jennifer Gill.

She said including TIF districts in the formula could cause her district to lose money.

"It'll look like were able to realize more dollars on our local property than we actually are," Gill said.

That is because under TIF, any growth in property taxes goes to local cities to stir more economic development. Typically, it does not go to fund schools.

District 186 won't know how much this would cost them until the Illinois State Board of Education releases their analysis of the amendatory veto.

"We're going to come out good on the end no matter whether it's through the amendatory veto or through Senate Bill 1,” Gill said. “However, we want to make sure that all of the amendatory veto pieces are checked out and that we aren't getting money here and losing money in another place."

Sangamon County officials didn't offer comments on their opinion of the governor's veto, but they did said TIFs typically help communities in the long run.

"At the end of the TIF, we're all going to benefit from it,” said Annette Fulgenzi, a Sangamon County Board Member. “The schools will be one of those that definitely benefit if the TIF works the way it's supposed to -- the properties are improved and revitalized and we have more jobs and we have more money in our area."

The Senate will be in on Sunday to act on Senate Bill 1.

We'll bring you full coverage of the vote on Newschannel 20.

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