San Marcos Mercury | Local News from San Marcos and Hays County, Texas

August 3rd, 2010
ACC proposes small property tax rate increase

STAFF REPORT

The Austin Community College District is proposing a half-percent increase in its property tax for their fiscal year that starts Sept. 1, part of a move to offset declining property appraisals.

The college district’s board of trustees heard a proposal to increase its tax rate from 9.46 cents per $100 in property value to to 9.51 cents. The board is expected to vote on the increase at its September meeting.

“Our board took a judicious approach to reducing costs in the new budget, allowing for necessary growth without reducing instructional programs or student services during a period of large enrollment increases. While our property tax revenue will go down this year, the college will continue to meet the vast educational needs of the Central Texas region,” said Dr. Stephen Kinslow, the college district’s president and chief executive officer.

Despite the rate increase, the average homeowner’s bill will actually decrease about $2, said college official, who also pointed out that the Austin Community College District’s tax is less than the state average of 15 cents per $100.

ACC offers a standard $5,000 homestead exemption plus a $105,000 exemption – the most generous in the region – for senior citizens and homeowners with disabilities.

The maintenance and operations portion of the tax rate will remain unchanged at $0.09, a cap that cannot increase without voter approval. The tax also includes $0.0051 for debt service. When taxable values decline, the debt service rate must increase to generate enough revenue to cover the debt service payment.

The college district has been spending aggressively in recent months, committing $35.4 million to buy land for future campuses, including one in Kyle and one in San Marcos. Both the Hays and San Marcos school districts’ voters will vote Nov. 2 on whether to join the college district’s taxing area, a move that cannot be reversed.

The value of the average Travis County homestead decreased by 1.4 percent this year; the value of the average Williamson County homestead went down by 1.9 percent.

The adopted 2010-11 budget includes $94,632,593 of property tax operating revenue (which funds instructional programs, student support services, and facility maintenance, among other things) and $5,402,271 of property tax debt service.

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4 thoughts on “ACC proposes small property tax rate increase

  1. ACC will get you either way. Through increased value or by simply raising taxes when values drop. These are bloodsuckers. They should have never been let into Hays county. Whoever goes to ACC should be looking for ways to pay for their own education. There are already many publicly supported ways to go to college. Additional taxes on Hays county property owners are absurd.

  2. AUSTIN Community College TAXING District is nothing more than a “ponzi” scheme, only eclpsed by Bernie Madoff. The District is $444 million in debt AND that is data from a year ago! They are looking for more suckers to feed their debt empire. They are going after taxpayers in Bastrop and Hays Counties to feed their debt diet. They will add another $100 million or more to this load. I have to ask, who loans AUSTIN CCD money when they have so much debt already. If you want the facts about the debt you ALREADY have, check out acctaxfacts.com

  3. ACC isn’t even the top choice for students graduating from Del Valle ISD and they are “in district”, since May 2005. In fact ACC isn’t even the top choice for any of the districts clamoring to join.
    San Marcos is no exception, graduating seniors who enrolled in ACC the following fall semester 2002-2009/29 /33 /48 /49 /36 /37 /46 /49
    Those who enrolled elsewhere sm/year/108/126/128/117/118/116/126/120
    The ACC enrollment numbers hardly seem worthy of a multi-milllion dollar investment,unless taxpayers pay for. The ones who enrolled elsewhere actually did it without taxing your property. I saw one of those “inspirational” ACC commercials on TV last night, and wondered why would they have to raise taxes? They have enough money for TV commercials,seems to me if you were having money troubles that would be the first thing cut. I wonder which unlucky homeowners money was spent on that. The last thing we need in Hays county is more debt and Austin Taxes.

  4. We in Texas have been clamoring for property tax reform for years and have been complaining about since its conception. We got no reform by the last Legislative session (did we?) and it’s CRAZY irony that we would vote to impose another tax on ourselves so that a handful of students can get a discount of $98/sem. hr. What happens when ACC raises tuition and in effect negates this discount?
    ACC has under contract now and will purchase,if the vote goes their way) 90 something acres in Hays cisd for about $100K per acre…$9 million dollars. With the taxpayers backing the loans ACC can buy anything they want for any ridiculous price. I could go on but the thought wears me out. Ray

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