Library should be able to weather CPPRT downturn

A projected 24 percent decline in a major funding source for the Allerton Public Library should not affect operations or cause any major increase in its property tax rate, board members were told at their monthly meeting on Oct. 4.

“I have a question about corporate replacement (taxes). We’re reading all of these scary things about the decrease in replacement taxes, so do we know anything about that in regard to the library?” asked board member Sue Lochbaum.

Corporate Personal Property Replacement Taxes account for approximately 40 to 50 percent of income for the library’s general fund, and fluctuate each year based on profits of Illinois corporations.

Library Director Lisa Winters said the library received $190,000 in CPPRT funds in 2017-18, quite a bit more than anticipated, so she had already backed that figure down to $120,000 in the district’s 2016-17 budget.

Due to higher than normal CPPRT payouts last year, Winters said “we had budgeted 40 percent less,” adding “we anticipated it would not be rosy.”

An overpayment by the state of $22,000 in replacement taxes to the library two years ago may help make up for projected declines this year. The Illinois Department of Revenue originally said extra dollars paid out by mistake to all CPPRT receiving taxing bodies would need to be paid back, but does not anticipate following through on the payback, Winters said.

The Monticello school district anticipates receiving about $5.8 million in replacement tax revenue this fiscal year, close to $2 million less than 2016-17. Piatt County will see CPPRT revenue drop by $400,000 if the state estimates hold.

A reduction of corporate profits is expected to account for just 2 percent of this year’s CPPRT decline, according to the Illinois Department of Revenue. Most of the remainder is due to Public Act 100-0021, which authorizes $297 million in expenditures out of CPPRT funds. That is about 21 percent of the total number replacement taxes are expected to generate.

The state is dipping into CPPRT to help fund community college operations, salaries of several county officers and several other state agencies.

The library board approved its budget last month, and last week got its first look at the 2017 property tax levy that would produce revenue in 2018. The proposed levy amount is $261,548, about 5 percent more than the 249,129 levied last year. It should result in a similar tax rate as this year, depending on the assessed valuation of the library district, which is currently at $131,395,647.

Board members learned at least a portion of the irrigation system that was on the library property when it was a Carle Clinic may still be usable. A firm was hired to look into it and found seven control valves on the west side of the property, along with a 1.5 inch water main.

“They thought some of it could still be usable,” said Winters. The next step will be to get the water to the system turned back on and charge it with water to see which portions are still operational.

The board has expressed interest in adding landscaping to the library that opened in August of 2016, but President Sue Gortner pointed out “I hate to put landscaping in if there’s not a good way to water it.”

Board members said there was a delay in the audit as they waited to get confirmation on balances from one financial institution.



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