What projects are included in the referendum and how much do they cost? How do I calculate my tax impact if the referendum passes? Get the facts here.
With these words, Unit 4 released the following documents:
More referendum information will be forthcoming from the District, such as individual site plans for referendum projects and a FAQ page. Keep checking the Unit 4 webpage, and please direct others there as well.
Thanks for all your questions about the referendum! They are coming to us on social media, through Tom Kasich's News-Gazette Mailbag, and in person, as well as on this blog or by email. (See here for two recently posted answers to questions asked on a previous blog post.) We are in the process of consolidating answers to these questions on a FAQ page. Keep in mind that questions asked directly to Unit 4 will result in the most accurate answers.
I asked Tom Lockman for additional information on tax rates in Unit 4 and in our peer downstate districts, along the lines of what he provided in his 6/2/16 financial presentation to the Tier Two committee (discussed here).
The two charts included below look at Champaign Unit 4, Urbana 116, and six peer downstate districts -- they compare the rate in each district that an individual property owner would pay to that school district relative to their property’s assessed value.
|Rate Chart 1|
Chart 1 shows Unit 4's actual tax rate in levy year 2015 (4.4117) -- the lowest rate of property tax money paid to schools in all 8 school districts.
|Rate Chart 2|
Chart 2 shows what Unit 4's tax rate would have been in levy year 2015 with a $183.4 million referendum (5.0487). Our rate would still be lower than all other districts' rates except Decatur.
A complaint heard for many years in our community is that Central is the only high school in the Big 12 without onsite access to its athletic facilities. This is more than a matter of convenience; if extracurricular activities are available on-site, all students have greater access to those opportunities that deepen the connection to school and enrich the high school experience.
Part of the compromise represented by keeping Central at its current site involves continued sharing of our most costly high school athletic facilities -- Tommy Stewart Field for Friday night football, and a renovated shared pool at Centennial. The rest of the compromise involves consolidating the remaining Central athletic facilities (except cross country and golf) within walking distance of the school.
Compare the two images below to understand the referendum's impact on Central's athletes and their families:
|Site Graphic 1: Current sites for Central athletics|
(from p. 23 of District presentation to Tier Two, 4/7/16)
I asked our architect team for a graphic that would represent the proposed consolidation of athletic facilities for Central students, putting them within a half-mile radius of the school. (I can walk a half-mile in under 10 minutes.)
|Site Graphic 2: Proposed sites for Central athletics|
(on optioned properties, McKinley Field, Spalding/Franklin)
Keep checking here for the most up-to-date referendum information.