Update on Tier 3 Mitigation Measures and Considerations for Truth in Taxation Hearings

Dec 10, 2020

by Christine Self

Tueth Keeney provided an Insight on Tier 3 Mitigations imposed statewide starting November 20, 2020 by Governor J.B. Pritzker (linked here). While the ISBE initially opined that Tier 3 Mitigation Measures applied to school board meetings, it later reconsidered and on November 24, the ISBE updated its Tier 3 Resurgence Mitigations FAQ (linked here). ISBE states in those FAQs that the Tier 3 Resurgence Mitigation measures do not apply to school board meetings, as they are government functions. However, as Tueth Keeney advised in its November 19, 2020 Insight, ISBE recommends that boards hold remote meetings whenever possible.

At this time of the year, such guidance is particularly important as school districts and other public bodies are required to hold Truth in Taxation public hearings if they intend to adopt a tax levy with more than 105% of the amount of property taxes extended or estimated to be extended. If there is an increase greater than 5%, notice and hearing are required. The requirements for a public hearing for such purpose are not directly mentioned in the Governor’s most recent disaster declarations or executive orders. Therefore, it is vital to provide the public access to participate in such a public hearing. The notice requirements for such public hearing are specified by statute (linked here) and must be followed. While the published notice must be limited to the language prescribed by statute, the Board may provide a link when posting its agenda to any video or audio link that will be available to members of the public who may wish to attend virtually. Be sure to share this information when posting the agenda for the meeting, not within the published hearing notice, as the statute provides that “any notice which includes any information not specified and required…shall be invalid notice.” (35 ILCS 200/18-80).

Tueth Keeney will continue to follow ISBE and other agency guidance and provide updates as necessary.

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Illinois Education – Tueth Keeney is proud to be one of the state’s largest Illinois education law practices. The firm has one of the most experienced groups of attorneys in Central and Southern Illinois dedicated to serving public schools. We regularly represent nearly 150 public school districts, including many districts in Central and Southern Illinois. Our Firm is also regularly appointed by insurers of educational institutions to represent districts in complex or difficult cases involving school or civil rights laws.

Christine Self practices in the areas of education law and employment law. She has developed employment policies and advised public employers on labor matters and laws such as the Freedom of Information Act and the Illinois Open Meetings Act. She has experience with collective bargaining and disciplinary investigations into employee misconduct. As a former public school teacher, she is committed to assisting schools navigate the legal requirements of the education environment so school leaders and educators can provide the best educational opportunities for students.