Adam Clapp at school board

MONTICELLO – Another round of booming corporate personal property replacement tax (CPPRT) proceeds have led to a rosy financial outlook for the Monticello School District.

“I made a few tweaks to our budget since July,” Monticello Superintendent Adam Clapp told the school board last week. “That was based on current information from the Illinois Department of Revenue. Like I mentioned in July, Dr. (Vic) Zimmerman left us in a great spot, financially.”

In the district’s education fund, Clapp reported a balance of $9,296,415. In the operating and maintenance fund, the fund balance was reported at $3, 532,155. In the transportation fund, there was $1,041,821. There was $13, 392,446 in the working cash fund. There is $27,272,537 in the operating fund. The total fund balance, Clapp reported, was $30,415,708.

“Those fund balances have built over time,” he explained. “We have had two consecutive years where the CPPRT came in very high and we are very fortunate position.”

Last year, the district received $19.8 million in CPPRT, after budgeting only $10 million. The previous year, the district received $10.1 million. Historically over the last 10 years, the district has received about $7 million per year.

Corporate personal property replacement taxes (CPPRT) are revenues collected by the state of Illinois and paid to local governments to replace money that was lost by local governments when their powers to impose personal property taxes on corporations, partnerships, and other business entities were taken away. Corporations, partnerships, trusts, S corporations and public utilities pay these taxes.

Revenue comes from three different sources – federal, state and local, Clapp said.

“Property taxes are the most reliable source of revenue,” he said. “They are the most consistent. Our tax rate is 3.76% and that makes up almost 40% of our revenue. “

The CPPRT revenues are less reliable that other forms of revenue.

“The CPPRT comes down to how the Illinois economy is doing,” he said. “If the Illinois economy is booming, then we see high CPPRT revenues. When we see a downtown in the economy, we see a decrease. Right now, we are in a good position and things look well for us.”

Clapp said he anticipates getting $20 million in CPPRT funds this fiscal year.

“That would be another record year if it comes through, but we are still budgeting conservatively,” he said. “When you take a look at last year, the state projected us to receive $10 million in CPPRT funding and we ended up seeing $19 million. That was a good ‘miss’ on the state’s behalf. But we always have to consider a miss in the other direction.”

The budget reflected a 4.5% increase in salary expenditures for the teacher’s union contract that was signed in the spring.

There are also several projects slated to be completed this year, including the boiler at Lincoln ($186,000) and elevator replacement at the Miller and Moore Gymnasium ($350,000).

“We should end the fiscal year next June in great shape,” he said. “Although we are anticipating a surplus, we will continue to live conservatively when times are good, then, if we see a downturn in revenue.”

Washington Elementary Roof

Clapp reported that the roof on Washington Elementary needs replaced.

“The roof on the 1966 addition is almost 30 years old and we need to consider replacing that,” he said.

Crews have been maintaining it by patching and repairing it, but it would make sense to replace it at this point, he added.

Preliminary estimates have placed the project at around $500,000.

A $50,000 matching grant from the Illinois State Board of Education may help, he said.

Next week: The school board discussed potential upgrades to athletic facilities.

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