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Mundelein referendum would include phased-in tax impact

January 20, 2023 05:23 PM
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If voters in April approve the $175 million referendum to renovate and expand areas of Mundelein High School, the tax increase would be phased-in during the first three years, District officials announced.


With $50 million already set aside, the School District 120 School Board has outlined a $225 million project to improve the 62-year-old school building.


A successful referendum would mean a tax increase for District 120 property owners. But because of how the bonds will be scheduled, the tax rate increase will be phased-in during the first three years with less of an impact during the initial two years and more of an impact in later years. Depending on the value of a home, the approximate impact would be as follows:

  • $100,000 home: $95 increase in the first year; $160 in the second; and $215 in the third year.
  • $200,000 home: $210 increase in the first year; $360 in the second; and $450 in the third year.
  • $300,000 home: $320 increase in the first year; $550 in the second; and $690 in the third year.


Those numbers could possibly decrease slightly in future years, if the overall property value in District 120 increases.


“We realize this is a big investment by our community, so we wanted to do whatever possible to make it less of an increase in the first couple of years,” said District 120 Superintendent Kevin Myers. “The hope is that as Mundelein continues to grow, there will be a greater tax base to draw from to pay off the bonds.”


Currently, the tax rate for Mundelein High School is $2.48, the third lowest among Lake County high school districts.


The key priorities of the project include increasing programming spaces for performing arts and athletics and renovating food services areas - all areas that date back to the school’s opening in 1961. According to school officials, MHS doesn’t have the right kind of for modern high school needs and it creates scheduling problems and limits both academic and  extracurricular activities.


The current auditorium, main gym and cafeteria are original construction elements in a building designed for 1,500 students at a time when there were 10 sanctioned boys sports and only two girls sports. Today, MHS has more than 2,200 students and offers 32 state-sanctioned sports.


Limited food service/cafeteria space leads to four lunch periods for students stretching from 10:15 a.m. to 1:40 p.m. on a typical school day. Sports teams regularly share practice spaces, pushing many practice sessions for student-athletes deep into the evening hours.


The School Board updated its five-year-old facilities plan this fall, studied the facilities at area high schools, and listed a number of assumptions of what was needed at MHS. 


These assumptions included: increased multi-purpose space throughout; expanded cafeteria space; expanded performing arts spaces; expanded physical education/athletic spaces; enhanced/expanded Career and Technical Education; expanded Transition Center space; consideration of mental health and wellness; and improved building performance. The plan will also increase multi-purpose space throughout the school and increase commons areas.


Complete information is available on the MHS website.


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