Ludlow school, Bell Sports reach accord on tax value

LUDLOW — Ludlow Grade School and Bell Sports — a Rantoul industry — have reached a compromise in the company's request for a reduction in the value of its property.

Superintendent Dru Lobmaster said the agreed-upon estimated market value of the Bell Sports property was set at $3.25 million, down from about $4 million.

The company had requested the property value be reduced to $2.6 million.

"I negotiated back and forth for our district," Lobmaster said of a meeting between her and the Champaign County Board of Review. "We all agreed ($3.25 million) was fair for our district and it was fair for them.

"I did negotiate to try to settle this without a hearing. A hearing would only prolong this issue for all involved."

Lobmaster said county officials indicated that when a multiplier is added to the estimated market value of the Bell Sports property, the figure would probably be close to $3.7 million.

It is not known how much less property tax the school district will receive, but Lobmaster said earlier if the company had been granted the full requested reduction, the school district could expect to lose about $42,000 from the company. The rest of the district's taxpayers would have made up that difference.

Even though the property is west of Rantoul, it lies within the Ludlow Grade School district.

At its December meeting, the Ludlow school board approved its 2011 tax levy payable in 2012 that will generate $506,840 — a 4.99 percent increase over the 2010 levy of $482,745 — an increase of $24,095. Because the rate did not increase 5 percent or more, the school board was not required to hold a public hearing.

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