Property tax relief on the way — for some

By Kevin Beese Staff Reporter

Twenty-eight school districts in the state will be getting a combined $50 million in Property Tax Relief Grants from the Illinois State Board of Education. The Relief Grants are part of the ISBE’s switch to Evidence-Based Funding. (ISBE photo at Gwendolyn Brooks College Prep in Chicago)

From Antioch to Rantoul, residents in some Illinois communities will be seeing property tax relief.

Twenty-eight school districts — nearly three-quarters of which are in Cook County — have been deemed eligible for Property Tax Relief Grants for this fiscal year from the Illinois State Board of Education.

The $50 million state grant covers a portion of local property tax reductions, up to the statutory limit. A total of 373 districts applied for the Tax Relief Grants in this first year of implementation. The formula in the law awards eligibility to districts with the highest unit equivalent tax rate compared to all the districts that applied.

“Shifting more of the responsibility for education funding to the state makes our system fairer and more equitable,” said state Superintendent of Education Tony Smith. “Local property wealth should not determine the educational resources available to a child. The Property Tax Relief Grant takes a critical step toward uplifting families and communities.”

Eligible districts must submit an abatement resolution to their county clerks by March 30 and share the resolution with ISBE. The State Board will distribute the grant funding to each eligible district on a scheduled date after receiving the Certification of Abatement Form from the respective county clerk. The Property Tax Relief Grant amount will become a permanent part of each district’s Evidence-Based Funding Minimum going forward.

Homeowners and small businesses in the 28 school districts will see decreases in their property tax bills under the new state grant program that seeks to provide relief to school districts in high-taxed areas.

State Sen. Michael E. Hastings (D-Tinley Park) said he was happy that school districts in his area will be receiving more than $4.9 million from the Property Tax Relief Grant.

The new school funding formula, which Hastings advocated for, is already provided millions of dollars in new state funds to school districts that need it the most, he said. In Evidence-Based Funding’s first year alone, his 19th state Senate District received nearly $20 million in additional state funding, Hastings said.

“The people of the Southland are trying to do their very best to provide our children with an exceptional education and an excellent quality of life,” Hastings said. “Illinois’ families have a school-funding formula in place to ensure schools are funded the right way to help homeowners find property tax savings and guarantee our children receive the best possible educational opportunities.”

Districts receiving grants, by county, are:


  • Ohio Community High School District 505


  • Rantoul Township High School District 193


  • Argo Community High School District 217
  • Bloom Township High School District 206
  • Bremen Community High School District 228
  • Community High School District 218 (Oak Lawn)
  • Dolton School District 148
  • Elementary School District 159 (Matteson)
  • Evergreen Park Community High School District 231
  • Ford Heights School District 169
  • Gen. George Patton School District 133 (Riverdale)
  • Homewood-Flossmoor Community High School District 233
  • Lansing School District 158
  • Leyden Community High School District 212
  • Oak Lawn Community High School District 229
  • Oak Park & River Forest District 200
  • Park Forest School District 163
  • Reavis Township High School District 220
  • Rich Township High School District 227
  • Thornton Fractional Township High School District 215
  • Thornton Township High School District 205
  • Township High School District 211 (Palatine)


  • St. Anne Community High School District 302


  • Antioch Community High School District 117
  • Grayslake Community High School District 127
  • Zion Elementary School District 6
  • Zion-Benton Township High School District 126


  • Rock Falls Township High School District 301


State Sen. Linda Bush (D-Grayslake) said she was happy to see more money going to Lake County school districts and property owners getting some tax relief. She noted that Evidence-Based Funding has already made a difference in her district.

“For years, Lake County has had to rely heavily on property taxes to ensure our children have access to the best education possible,” Bush said. “As promised, the new school funding law is changing the way we fund our schools by increasing sta