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Local News

Votes Tuesday decide tax proposals across Will County area

Voters cast their ballots Thursday, Oct. 30, 2014 at the Will County Office Building during early voting in Joliet, Ill. Voters will decide more than who wins elected office with tax referendums on the Tuesday ballot, too. Big in Joliet is a property tax increase sought by the Joliet Park District that would raise $5 million more a year.
Voters cast their ballots Thursday, Oct. 30, 2014 at the Will County Office Building during early voting in Joliet, Ill. Voters will decide more than who wins elected office with tax referendums on the Tuesday ballot, too. Big in Joliet is a property tax increase sought by the Joliet Park District that would raise $5 million more a year.

Voters will decide more than who wins elected office with tax referendums on the Tuesday ballot, too.

Big in Joliet is a property tax increase sought by the Joliet Park District that would raise $5 million more a year.

Even bigger in Minooka is a $50 million bond referendum seeking money to build an intermediate school for fifth through eighth grades.

Minooka School District 201 failed twice in 2018 to pass a bond referendum. But it’s not the only local government coming back to voters again for a yes vote.

The White Oak Library District is coming to voters for a sixth time seeking a property tax rate increase.

Joliet Park District officials were making their case for a tax increase in public meetings as recently as Wednesday, when they spoke at the Spanish Community Center. In 2014, 70 percent of the voters supported a bond referendum for the park district that generated $19.5 million for specific projects, including the new Nowell Park Recreation Center.

This time, park officials are seeking a 58 percent increase in the property tax rate, saying the amount of property taxes it gets lags behind other park districts and is not enough to keep up with aging park facilities. The park district has not decided what to do if the referendum fails, Executive Director Tom Carsten said.

“If the referendum doesn’t pass,” he said, “there are going to have to be some tough decisions.”

Minooka school

Minooka school officials said that they need a new school to keep up with the growing number of families in the district. Fifth- and sixth-grade classes have grown by more than 100 students each since the 2011-12 school year, school officials said.

The referendum has been scaled down since a March 2018 proposal for $90 million to build two schools.

Some other referendums in
Will County include:

• A Troy Fire Protection District proposal for a new property tax to pay for firefighter pensions in the Troy Township district;

• A Homer Township Fire Protection District proposal to issue $4.5 million in bonds to pay for new equipment;

• A Mokena School District 159 proposal to increase the tax rate to fund school operations.

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