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October 12th, 2010
Commentary: Parsing the confusion about ACC taxes

Local Government Watch – Austin Community College District: A column
by LAMAR W. HANKINS

Allen Kaplan, Vice Chair of the ACC Board of Trustees, has published a letter trying to correct what he calls “assertions that are clearly false” in an article I wrote that appeared in The Mercury last week.  But many of his points serve to create only more confusion. Trying to clarify the relevant facts about the proposed ACC taxing district (the terminology used by ACC in the minutes of meetings of its Board of Trustees) is indeed difficult. There is no single reference available to fact-check assertions made by either annexation proponents or opponents. What I have learned about ACC’s tax rates over the years, I gleaned from the minutes of their board meetings. Some other facts are more difficult to determine, but I offer the following analysis based on the most reliable data I could find.

Since 1980, community colleges in Texas have steadily depended more and more on local taxes to pay their costs. In 1980, local taxes made up 16 percent of all community college revenues. In 2010, that percentage is estimated to have increased to 42 percent. Tuition too has increased in the last thirty years, from 16 percent of community college revenues to 27 percent.  Only state support for community colleges has decreased during the past thirty years, from 68 percent in 1980 to 31 percent as projected in 2010. With state support decreasing dramatically, future costs will be born by students and local taxpayers.

Taxing authority found in Texas law

The ACC taxing district is permitted by the Texas Education Code to issue a variety of bonds, including tax bonds (repayable through taxes; also termed negotiable coupon bonds). The annual bond tax rate may not exceed 50 cents per $100 of property value. An annual maintenance tax also may not exceed 50 cents per $100 of property value, for a total maximum tax permitted by law of $1.00 per $100 of property value.

This annual maintenance tax may not be levied unless “authorized by a majority of the electors voting at an election held for such purpose.”  This entire process, except for the voting by electors, is controlled by the ACC taxing district Board of Trustees as provided in section 130.122, Texas Education Code:  “Each such election shall be called by resolution or order of the board, which shall set forth the date of the election, the proposition or propositions to be submitted and voted on, the polling place or places, and any other matters deemed necessary or advisable by the board.  …  The board shall canvass the returns and declare the results of such election.”

Recent history of ACC taxation

For the Fiscal Year 2004 (FY2004), the ACC taxing district’s tax rate was raised by its Board of Trustees from 5 cents to 7.71 cents per $100 of property value. This increase included 7 cents for Maintenance and Operations (M&O) and .71 cents for Debt Service. The FY2005 tax rate was set by the ACC Board of Trustees at 9 cents. The tax rate for FY2006 was set by resolution of the ACC Board of Trustees at 9.91 cents per $100 of property value. Nine cents was for M&O and .91 cents was for debt service. The tax rate was decreased by 2.6 percent for FY2007. The FY2008 tax rate was again slightly reduced, by 0.7 percent, to a total of 9.58 cents. Again for FY2009, the tax rate was slightly decreased by 0.4 percent to 9.54 cents. The FY2010 tax rate was set at 9.46 cents, another slight decrease of 0.8 percent. For FY2011, the tax rate is set at 9.51 cents.

Apparently, the maximum M&O tax rate is 9 percent without seeking further voter approval, though I have not been able to confirm this figure by reference to any legal document. The additional tax rate for Debt Service will fluctuate depending on how much money is needed to pay for the tax bonds that have been previously issued.

To pay for M&O costs, the ACC Board of Trustees have several choices: raise the tax rate, raise student tuition, raise student fees, reduce taxable property exemptions (now available for seniors, the disabled, and once available for those in historic districts), or convince the Texas legislature to appropriate more money for community colleges (which is not likely).

Undoubtedly, raising tuition and fees and reducing tax exemptions will be the ACC board’s preferred alternatives, followed by seeking voter approval for higher taxes. If voter approval for a tax increase is sought by the ACC taxing district, the Austin voters will overwhelm those in the SMCISD. If all the annexations scheduled for a vote on Nov. 2 pass, SMCISD voters will make up less than 10 percent of the ACC taxing district voters, most of whom are in Austin and Travis County, followed closely by those in Williamson County. That cohort will decide the tax rate for the ACC taxing district, leaving SMCISD voters with no chance to make our voices heard over the din north of us. This may not be taxation without representation, but it is closer to it than I ever want to get.

ACC’s promises

Allen Kaplan wants us to look at what the ACC taxing district did in Round Rock ISD after it was annexed just over two years ago. He claims that ACC fulfilled every promise made. That may be true. But there is a big and important difference between the SMCISD and the Round Rock ISD.  Round Rock ISD is contiguous to the ACC taxing district and is an integral part of the Austin economy. Round Rock, Pflugerville, and Austin have grown together to become one large metropolitan area.  These factors are not true for SMCISD. San Marcos remains an independent community, influenced much less than is Round Rock by our giant neighbor 28 miles to the north of us. As part of the same metropolitan community, the Round Rock economy is much more aligned with Austin than is the San Marcos economy.

It does not surprise me that the ACC taxing district built a large and diverse campus in the Round Rock ISD, which has a student enrollment nearly three times that of SMCISD. Its student enrollment is 80 percent the size of the entire population of San Marcos. The estimated population of Round Rock is nearly twice the size of the estimated population of San Marcos. Demographics alone make the Round Rock ISD a more attractive area in which to develop a well-rounded ACC campus. But it is unlikely that an ACC taxing district campus in San Marcos will offer the kinds of vocational training that SMCISD graduates need and want because the ACC taxing district has not carefully studied our needs, preferring to copy the SMCISD service plan from the service plan for Hays ISD and the other school districts it is trying to annex on Nov. 2.

I would like to have confidence in the Austin-area trustees of the ACC taxing district to do right by San Marcos, but our history with the ACC taxing district (the difficulty in getting coherent and direct answers to questions, the inadequate explanations for the criminality of the petition process four years ago, the lack of legally enforceable commitments by ACC to the SMCISD, the documentary evidence that it needs the taxes that can be raised in the SMCISD for its own fiscal health) does not suggest that it will be transparent to us, honest with us, and willing to meet the unique needs of our high school graduates. Though it could long ago have met the needs of our graduates without annexation, it has not done so for the last 36 years.

There is no reason why I or anyone else who lives in the SMCISD should be willing to accept the word of one of its trustees or its overpaid President that it will treat San Marcos people right. If anything, our voters should be skeptical of this tax-seeking monolith to the north.

© Lamar W. Hankins, Local Government Watch–ACC taxing district

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22 thoughts on “Commentary: Parsing the confusion about ACC taxes

  1. Hats off to Mr. Hankins – Sure wish this was in the hands of every voter. Great commentary replete with facts. They would quickly see the ACC Taxing District is a bad deal. But just like the petition, voters will be presented with a ballot measure that has no mention of the word TAX. Leaving out a mention of a tax is deceptive at best and should be illegal. All petitions and ballot language should have FULL disclosure. I worry about those going to vote “cold.” Those that have not kept up with the process and have not had the opportunity to weigh the pros and cons. I worry about those who were told during the petition drive; “ACC is here already, this is just a formality.”

    ACC took 5 distinct cost saving measures in the last 5 months and then just 6 weeks or so before the election, extends a tax credit to seniors and disabled. According to our research, these are the most likely to vote. Will they take the “bribe.” It is anyones guess. Worth repeating – If ACC was such a good deal why are Del Valle Taxpayers looking to remove themselves from the taxing district? If ACC was such a good deal why would anyone oppose this property tax?

    There are no less than 6 websites created by ordinary taxpayers exposing the “Myth of ACC.” Websites providing info to Hays and San Marcos CISD’s are http://www.notaxacc.com and http://www.stopacc.org/http://care-sanmarcos.org/ Websites covering Bastrop County ISD’s are http://www.acctaxfacts.com and noacctax.info.

  2. Brian Rose says:
    October 12, 2010 at 3:22 pm

    So the basic premise of many of these arguments is that most of the people of San Marcos are poor, in fact often below the poverty line. Isn’t this an indication that perhaps the status quo is failing? Numerous studies have been done that indicating that increased education leads to increased economic prosperity primarily through increased wages.

    I see few people discussing fixing the current education options here in San Marcos. The primary purpose of the community college system is work force education and preperation. Is this not what the city of San Marcos needs? If not then why do we have 2/3 of all SMISD students on public assistance programs? Should SMISD be sinking its resources into developing trade, apprenticeshop, and direct workfroce programs? Those cost money and would require increased taxes in any form. Who is the best option to do this?

    If you believe it is the school district rather than an instiution such as ACC then perhaps you should be pushing to bring such intiatives to the K-12 system. Is this what is being advocated? Perhaps the population is truly satisfied with economics and educational conditions of the city of San Marcos.

    My observation is that things San Marcos are stagnate. In time when all the communties are expanding and improving San Marcos is stubbornly digging its heels in and denying this changing reality. If you believe this is not the case then obviously a “no” vote would seem pertinent. If you believe that San Marcos needs a catalyst for change then their should be discussions on what could be the best catalyst for change. SMISD, Texas State, ACC, or some other solution? The reality is all of these will take some sort of investment which yes will mean money. If campuses, facilities, equipment, educators, and staff could be made with fairy dust I assume it would be done but unfortunantly those things cost money in one form or another.

    The annexation issue is one of investment. How much is the population of San Marcos willing to invest in itself? Instead of merely using trigger words and slogans perhaps there should be a greater discussion of whether there is a problem in San Marcos and if so what are the solutions.

  3. If we’re really interested in helping the poor youth here in San Marcos break out of their economic cycle, we get a LOT more “bang for the buck” by improving what we do for the pre-K through 4th grade.

    Texas State wants this pushed through because they get great benefits without having to pay a dime (think, Robin Hood in reverse). The SMCISD taxpayers will pay every year forever so the Texas State students get reduced tuition for “quick and cheap” classes they can take at ACC and transfer the credits back to Texas State. And, Texas State further benefits by not having to invest as much in Freshman course development and instruction.

    ACC set the ballot language by getting the Texas State Legislature to rule that every ballot initiative has to use the same (vague/incomplete) language we see today. Unfortunately the ballot language says NOTHING about the fact that a vote “yes” means the taxpayer is agreeing to new taxes every year forever.

    ACC = Unfair Taxes

  4. These anti-tax arguments can be used for everything under the sun.

    The REAL issue Mr. Hankins has is given away in the last section: he doesn’t want San Marcos to be a part of Austin. That is head in the sand mentality. It already is. When I moved here 9 years ago, the south of Austin “ended” at William Cannon drive. Now it ends at Onion Creek and you barely have any green space between it and Buda. I know a lot of people who live in San Marcos and commute to Austin for work (I’m one of them). We utilize Austin media and are undoubtedly part of the Austin orbit. A number of city officials have tried to resist Austin metro’s encroachment the whole time I’ve lived here, and those actions have cost the city a lot in development and very likely jobs.

    There also needs to be recognition that San Marcos’ economy is based on education. The city would not be successful without Texas State. We’d be like Lockhart without it, quite possibly less successful than that. ACC is Texas State’s number one feeder. What helps ACC helps Texas Sate which helps San Marcos. So this idiocy about “subsidizing Texas State students” is absurd. Those students keep the businesses in San Marcos running; they subsidize us. We’d only have about 20% of the economic activity we do without them.

    I am a little concerned about the taxes, but the potential benefits of an ACC campus probably outweigh them. We do have Gary, but as far as technical career training they don’t even come close to what ACC does. A community college to compliment Texas State and feed it makes perfect sense, and could easily provide the bridge needed for more SMCISD students to attend TxState.

    Students generally utilize community colleges within a 50 mile radius of where they attended high school. I’m not worried about TxState dorm-living freshmen, the plurality of whom come from the Houston metro, being the primary ones who utilize the ACC campus. The people who will use this SM campus will be overwhelmingly local.

  5. I agree with most of what you said, but I am not sure where you get some of your numbers. The university recently released a study, which showed that it drove about 20% of our economy – 10% from the students and 10% from the administration.

  6. Response to Aaron:

    You claim that I wrote something I did not write: “The REAL issue Mr. Hankins has is given away in the last section: he doesn’t want San Marcos to be a part of Austin. ”

    I wrote that San Marcos is not a part of Austin in the way that Round Rock is an integral part of the Austin metro area. I did not say I objected to San Marcos becoming an integral part of Austin in the same way Round Rock is. That is what you said I wrote, which is false. Anyone can make such strawman arguments and shoot them down, but that is not the way to have a productive discussion of the issues.

    You may disagree with my assessment of the relationship between Austin and San Marcos, but that is far different from claiming I wrote something I did not write. I have always assumed that the area from Georgetown to San Antonio would some day (maybe 50 years from now) be a giant metroplex not unlike Dallas-Ft. Worth. It doesn’t matter whether you or I like it or dislike it, but I think it will come to pass.

  7. As Ted pointed out elsewhere, 68.6% of SMCISD students qualify for free or reduced price meals. (The detail, 58.9% free and 9.7% reduced price.)

    Asking those (economically challenged) families (in SMCISD) to pay more taxes to build an ACC campus just doesn’t seem like the best solution.

  8. Mr. Harvey, I usually agree with much of what you have to say, but how much do you think those families getting reduced lunches pay in property taxes? How many do you think own a home worth more than the $15,000 exemption? If they pay some amount indirectly, how much do you really think that amounts to?

    There are a lot of reasons to oppose ACC — a lot. But overtaxation of the economically disadvantaged just isn’t one of them. If anything, your argument cuts against your point.

  9. John, I agree the lower income families will not be paying as much money per house as the folks who live in more expensive houses. To me it does not seem appropriate to ask them to pay for an ACC campus when we need to be concentrating our local tax dollars for eduction on the more impactful segment K-4 in order to help more students graduate from High School in the first place (and those who graduate to be better prepared for either college or workforce).

    Tuesday, Oct 26, 6:30pm, Central SMCISD Office Boardroom, this is our opportunity to give input on the next SMCISD superintendent profile under development by the superintendent search team. This is one of many ways we the people can start to get involved in helping make SMCISD better.

  10. The ACC opponents here have done a great job cooking the books to confuse regular voters on whether you’ll like having your own ACC campus end up in a lifetime of servitude to some pot-smoking hippie.
    So here are the plain facts for regular voters from an ACC taxpayer in Williamson County.

    ACC Taxes – I pay a couple hundred a year on my $200,000 house, and my elderly, next-door neighbor pays next to nothing. (I pay way more in homeowner fees and gym membership fees.) Contrary to fear mongers, there has been no doubling, tripling, to the mooning that opponents allege will happen. Their claims that we ACC voters are eager to vote ourselves a future increase is also ridiculous.

    Tuition – It’s low enough that my wife, two kids, and I have all taken classes. The kids are gone now, but my wife and I still take classes because they’re a great deal (about $200 resident tuition per class) and we need them for work. We’ve taken a lot of computer and software classes so far, and we plan to take Spanish and automotive repair classes when we retire.

    ACC is a GREAT education – When it comes to success, I’m a very satisfied taxpayer. Unfortunately, my family is part of the reason the naysayers are able to beat up ACC. None of us will graduate from ACC, and even my kids didn’t count. They each earned a year of Early College Start credits but went to UT right out of high school and earned their degree from UT. That made them UT freshmen and UT graduates – even though a fourth of their UT degree is ACC (They came back for ACC classes in summer.)

    Is it still worth paying when the kids are gone? Yes! The college campus is a blessing for our community. Our high schoolers and younger kids benefit from seeing people coming and going at the college, an our ECS students also get to benefit of a real college experience rather than being limited to classes at their high school. The ACC campus is occasionally used for precinct voting, and

    I enjoy dropping in to see the students working hard. And convenience matters – a campus in the community is the reason people like me can take classes after work and on weekends.

    So regular voters, I encourage you to weigh the facts. You can believe the people with little or now experience with ACC tossing around confusing formulas and theories, or you can consider the plain and simple facts based on real experience.

    Either way, good luck to you. And if your vote’s yes, then welcome to the district. We’re glad to have you.

  11. Mr. Hankins,

    This is what you wrote:

    “But there is a big and important difference between the SMCISD and the Round Rock ISD. Round Rock ISD is contiguous to the ACC taxing district and is an integral part of the Austin economy. Round Rock, Pflugerville, and Austin have grown together to become one large metropolitan area. These factors are not true for SMCISD. San Marcos remains an independent community, influenced much less than is Round Rock by our giant neighbor 28 miles to the north of us”

    There was a time when Round Rock was not contiguous to Austin. I remember there used to be green space between them. I would argue that San Marcos is not as independent of Austin as you suggest. Rather, discouraging that integration probably allows development and employers to go to more receptive places like Buda and Kyle. Since a large number of students commute from Austin to Texas State, I disagree that San Marcos is not heavily influenced by Austin. To me, San Marcos is in about the same place vis-a-vis Austin as Round Rock was about 15-20 years ago.

    I’m sorry that you perceived my interpretation of your assessment of the San Marcos-Austin relationship as faulty. It seems clear to me that you are arguing that San Marcos is too much of an independent entity to benefit from an ACC campus. Austin’s growth is marching both northward and southward, ACC will be a part of that.

    If you do believe that this area is developing into a metroplex similar to DFW, then inevitably ACC will try to annex us again, even if it fails this time. I see no reason to try and use a fan to blow back the hurricane. As one poster above said, it’s a question of what we are willing to invest in our community. Do we want it to grow or not, do we want to try and integrate ourselves as part of Austin’s growth or not? Or do we resist it?

  12. “The university recently released a study, which showed that it drove about 20% of our economy – 10% from the students and 10% from the administration.”

    Ted,

    I was referring to how much economic activity San Marcos would have if there had never been a Texas State. If it had never existed I expect San Marcos would look a lot like Lockhart. The university and this city have an integral symbiotic relationship, that can’t be denied.

    I wonder if that study took into account how students patronize the businesses? I know firsthand from working in retail when I was a student that places like Wal-Mart and HEB go into a kind of hibernation mode during the summer. I imagine they have a huge impact on the restaurants, etc… Obviously there would be much, much less apartment housing 🙂

  13. The study did account for recirculation of money, through various businesses.

    I just get tired of the “students are ruining the city” and “there would be no city without the students” arguments. Neither is accurate and neither is particularly constructive. The only thing anyone could say for certain, is that the city would be different, without the university.

  14. Ted,

    Well, I did use Lockhart as a point of reference. It’s not as if Lockhart is a dying city, it just doesn’t have the activity or growth San Marcos has had. Without Texas State, I doubt San Marcos would have grown like it has, and it probably wouldn’t be as nice as say, New Braunfels. Surely Texas State, the Outlet Mall, the fact that it’s the county seat, and simply the corridor location all have some impact. Subtract any one of those factors and we’re less successful.

    Although 10% economic activity from the students alone seems a little low for 20,000+ entrants into the city for 9 months a year. And from what you’re talking about it sounds like it gauged impact at one time, so it doesn’t really assess what impact Texas State has had over the years; that kind of project would probably be a dissertation.

    At the very least, education and education services is the biggest single employment sector in San Marcos, and imo, enhancing that with a community college is a good move, economically.

  15. Another relevant comparison might be Georgetown. Although it has a university as well, it has much less influence on its host city. However, Georgetown has not resisted the urban growth northward to the extent that San Marcos has resisted attracting Austin-oriented development.

  16. Hi, all,
    I think with the exemptions built in for the elderly, for lower-priced homes and for the disabled, the ACC vote is nothing but a bargain for San Marcos. It sends a signal to businesses that we are progressive and that we are willing to do a little to provide a lot of education for our citizens. Those educated citizens will fuel the future economy, making San Marcos a better investment for everyone.

    I see the “Stop ACC” signs around town, some of them in surprising places. I hope, though, that those interested in education, in supporting our youth and in growing our community in an upwardly mobile way will vote “yes” for this important issue. Then, if San Marcos wants and if it can muster the folks to go to the polls, we can pack the board with those favorable to San Marcos’ viewpoints.

    ACC is a bargain we can’t afford to ignore.

    KateMc63@gmail.com

    Kate McCarty

  17. Kate, what on earth does your first paragraph mean? How do the exemptions make it a bargain? As far as I can tell, the taxpayers will pay many multiples over the tuition rebates local students will receive. “It sends a signal to businesses that we are progressive..” Is that a good signal to send? Being in a community college district would not really set San Marcos apart. “Those educated citizens will fuel the future economy” — Huh?

    Throughout the debate, the ACC opponents have raised specific objections like local control, debt obligations, increased taxes, the low number of local beneficiaries of benefits, the microscopic graduation rate from ACC, etc. And the proponents have used vague language about fueling the future, and if all else fails, “education” without feeling the need for anything more tangible in the way of explanation. Bad deal, wrong time — vote no.

  18. Aaron, we have a lot more going for us than Lockhart. New Braunfels is actually (IMO) the best comparison – corridor, tourism, river, etc.

    Re: employers, unfortunately, retail is the top employer.

    The top four retail employers in town, employ about 4200 people. The schools employ around 4,000.

    “Manufacturing,” as defined by the Chamber of Commerce, employs about 2,800 people, at eleven different companies.

    No doubt, there are smaller employers in each of these industries, but I would bet that retail comes out even further ahead, when you add them all up.

    Given a choice between ACC and more retail jobs, I’ll take ACC, but I don’t believe it is going to turn around our schools or do a whole lot for our economy.

  19. Having paid for those StopACC.org signs you are seeing around town I want to repeat what John said – all of our problems with ACC have been met with sketchy math and vague promises of “benefits.” I am pro education. I’ve worked in higher ed my entire adult life. I was the first in my family to go to college, then graduate school. I’m from the east side of Austin (the bad part, not the gentrified part) and was on school lunch program. None of those things makes me lend any support to ACC. They have not shown themselves to be financially well managed or earning of my trust. Why try to gobble up all these location at the same time? They simply need the tax revenue.

  20. Re: employers, unfortunately, retail is the top employer.

    You are right, that is unfortunate. I guess you are adding Tanger/Prime + Wal-Mart/H.E.B. Very few of those jobs are “keepers;” I worked at each of those places except for H.E.B. at some point while I was in school. Although if you add CoSM and Hays County to TxState and SMCISD, you get to about 5,500, which is less unfortunate.

    Given a choice between ACC and more retail jobs, I’ll take ACC, but I don’t believe it is going to turn around our schools or do a whole lot for our economy.

    Neither do I. Obviously fixing SMCISD would take a lot more than bringing an ACC to town. This is one area where New Braunfels kicks our collective tuckus. In that regard we indeed more like Lockhart or Seguin and less like New Braunfels or Georgetown. Although more SMCISD students would probably attempt ACC than Texas State, which is understandably daunting for a lot of them. However, given the stopACC people’s problems with taxes, they don’t seem willing to do much for anything.

    As for the economy, I don’t see how it would hurt. At the very least, it will bring 250-500 jobs initially in work for local construction contractors, then in admin/IT/maintenance/faculty jobs. Albeit many of those faculty will be part-time, given the rate they pay, it’s still better than retail.

  21. In answer to some of the people overly concerned about taxes:

    I think we are getting a bargain here at .0946 per $100. I looked up some of the tax rates for other community college districts in the state. Alamo Colleges in San Antonio charges .14/100. Uvalde county – Southwest Texas Junior College charges .11/100. Texas Southmost College down in Brownsville charges .16/100 and Del Mar College District in Corpus Christi charges a whopping .25/100. McClellan Community College in Waco .16/100. In the case of Uvalde, Cameron and Nueces counties, they are far worse off than we are with regard to property values and overall economic health. Good Lord, Waco is much more conservative than we are here, and I don’t hear them throwing a fit!

    If Uvalde and Brownsville can support a community college district, I think we can too.

    I moved here from the Rio Grande Valley 9 years ago, and I can assure you that Texas State Techincal College, Texas Southmost College/UTB, and South Texas Community College benefit the region to a high degree. A LOT of local students started there that wouldn’t have made into 4-year universities otherwise. That area is MUCH poorer than Hays county and somehow they afford it. Just looking at other county tax rates and I’m finding our property taxes here in Hays county are remarkably low.

    SMCISD resembles some of those school south TX districts’ characteristics based on my observations, and I think those students will be well-served by a community college here. So unless you want to start a Central Texas CC (which in order to initiate would probably need more than .10/100), I suggest you think about what kind of message a “no” vote sends. Do we not care about our community as much as those other regions?

    As of FY 07/08, ACC ranked 41/50 for community college district tax rates in TX. It’s actually lowered it since then, to .0946 from .0958.

    http://www.blinn.edu/institutionalresearch/reports/Tax_Rates_Assess_ValueFY%2007-08.pdf

    I looked up what my contribution would be. My property owner would have to pay about $350 more per year. Divided by the units, that’s about $36 per unit per year, or $3 a month. I’m more than willing to pay that. The average renter will have to pay about $3-5 more per month and the average homeowner will have to pay about $120-160 more per year, or about $14 more per month. Most of us probably spend more than that stopping at Mochas & Javas twice a week.

    We can afford this. The problem is that some people don’t want it for whatever reason and are trying to demagogue the whole issue. So don’t complain to me about the taxes. You’ll have to find another reason that ACC will *hurt* San Marcos to convince me.

  22. Interesting discussion on the topic. I enjoyed reading everyone’s comments. It seems to me that one has to admit that the discussion is not changing anyone’s mind on the matter. If you are for or against ACC — and you cared enough to make a comment — the chance of you changing your mind is somewhere between a slim chance and no chance at all.

    In my travels around the world it has been my observation that human beings are generally selfish and self-centered. Some have the capacity to hide it better than others but at the end of the day we tend to selfishly act in our own best interest without much regard for others. I will be voting for ACC (sorry John I guess we will cancel each other out) because I am of the opinion that it will benefit the community overall. As a property owner in the district, it will cost me a few extra dollars a month and I doubt that I or my family will ever take any classes, although we might someday. I am human so I know there is some selfish motive for me to vote for ACC somewhere. Maybe if there were more “Vote No” signs in low income neighborhoods and more “Vote Yes” signs in the higher end neighborhoods I might change my mind. I doubt it though because right or wrong I think it will benefit our wonderful community here in San Marcos. I will see you at the polls.

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