The Illinois School Code has been amended by Public Act 102-0895 by adding a new section Section 17-1.3 to the School Code. This new Section reads in its entirety as follows:
“Notwithstanding any other provision of law, each school district shall disclose to the public, at the public hearing at which the district certifies its budget and levy for the taxable year, the cash reserve balance of all funds held by the district related to its operational levy and, if applicable, any obligations secured by those funds.” 105 ILCS 5/17-1.3.
This new Section somewhat inartfully refers to “the public hearing at which the district certifies its budget and levy for the taxable year” when the budget and levy processes are typically not the same public hearing. As school districts have held their budget public hearing this year and already presented the information regarding the cash reserve balances at that hearing, this is to recommend districts further disclose this information at your levy hearing or meeting. The statute strictly requires that School Districts disclose the cash reserve balance at the public hearing related to the budget and tax levy. While this disclosure is mandatory, the required manner of disclosure of a District’s cash reserve balance is not addressed. Therefore, it is our recommendation that the school district tax levy hearing or meeting include the following:
- A public disclosure of the District’s cash reserve balance of all district funds related to its operational levy and, if applicable, any obligations secured by those funds.
- The minutes of the district hearing or meeting on the levy include a specific statement regarding this disclosure.
- That in the resolution approving and adopting the district tax levy you specifically include a statement that the cash fund balances were disclosed at public hearing or meeting on the levy to memorialize compliance with the requirement of new Section 17-1.3.
This new section 17-1.3 became effective May 23, 2022 so this fall is the first budget and levy cycle which is impacted.
If you have any questions please contact your school law attorney at KTJ.