If only it were that simple, *.*
The problem is when the college asks for 70 cents; then the city raises some 'minor' fees; then the county collects an additional 55 cents; then the property values go up for no good reason; then the charges for water/sewer/garbage 'must increase slightly'; then the school district needs a 2% increase (its not that much); ad infinitum, ad naseum...
Do you see the point? Your "its only a few cents" answer sounds good - but doesn't make sense in the long run. If no one ever opposes increases in taxation - then don't be surprised when you find a large percentage of your income disappearing after a few years.
and experience has proven that its MUCH harder to get it reduced than oppose the unneeded increases in the first place.
So - if we REALLY need it - prove it. Otherwise, tighten your belt along with the rest of us... cause if you give an inch....
Sometimes you just need to say we can't afford it.
StarDotStar: Wouldn't it be easier for citizens to put aside an extra 70 cents a month (.70 x 12 = 8.40) and be happy that Victoria has a community college to train its citizens for a future beyond flipping burgers than to complain about it?
Thank you for applying the logic of common sense in your post. A rarity on this posts.
I'm trying to make sure I'm clear on this. So the rate is going from 15.31 cents to 16.01 cents per $100, making a $120,000 property's current rate $183.72 per year. The new rate would make it $192.12 for an increase of $8.40. Wouldn't it be easier for citizens to put aside an extra 70 cents a month (.70 x 12 = 8.40) and be happy that Victoria has a community college to train its citizens for a future beyond flipping burgers than to complain about it?
Sry, but I'm going to have to weigh in with Hookem on this one. I understand that the state budget cuts have put VC in a bad situation. Given the current ecomony, the obvious solution is to be thankful for the 2% increase in property values, raise fees and tution slightly, and find ways to cut services and trim your budget locally.
Instead, you announce a 4.9% tax rate INCREASE, give people RAISES, and make a token effort at cutting spending - counting on the fact that most folks in Victioria are too apathetic to show up at a meeting to complain.
Times are changing. money is tight. Don't count those chickens yet...
I was just pointing out a technical point between per capita and median.
That being said, you do have a good point, if I raised the cost of the services I provide to offset the increase in my expenses... well my customers might decide they don't need my services, so I eat the increase and make less.
A bad example unless I had the authority to be the sole provider of services, the city and county. lol
Raises?, Let's see this will be the third year in a row that SS recipients have not received a cost of living adjustment, does anyone think that basic necessities cost the same as they did three years ago?
Kci, holein 1, legion,
OK, I admit that I used the per capita figure for 'dramatic effect'.
Still it does not detract from the point that I was trying to make (please see my post to holein 1 on the county tax increase story)
People can only afford what they can afford. My view is that when Pozzi (in one story) and Butler (in the other story) say in so many words 'that there is just no other alternative but to raise taxes' it is a pure cop-out of their responsibilities.
I'm sure that you will all agree that county employees and VC employees are already better compensated, as a whole, that the county in general. Some of these employees deserve this compensation (if not more) and some do not. Let the elected officials, and administrators do their job and manage the situation of 'keeping morale up' without constantly returning to the taxpayer for more, more, more, or let them resign.
In case you haven't noticed, these are not the best of times. (See closing DowJones today). The taxpayer has his own problems and it is time to quit looking to him as a bollomless pit of revenue.
Per capita money income in past 12 months (2009 dollars) 2005-2009 $23,219 (total reported income divided by total population). Median household income, 2009 $47,345 ( total income reported by households, persons 15 and older who report income, divided by total households).
Median household income is a much better measure.
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Hookem, Seriously? You are wanting to compare per captia income to average income per employee? Not even close. By definition per captia income is the average income per person in the county, including babies, retirees, disabled, homeless, welfare recepients, unemployed...I think you get the point. Maybe if you took the salary totals for VC and factored in the the student body it would be closer, but still an unfair comparison.
If you take the figure of $21,500 and multiply that by 87,000 (rounded figure from census data) you get roughly $1.8 Billion. Divide that by 43,500, I get that figure based a loose estimate that there is 1 child for every adult in the county and I don't know how accurate that actually is, you get $41,379.31. That's the average income of every adult in Victoria County. I think that's probably low, but it will do.
So how does an average salary of $41,379 compare to the average salary at VC? What is the average salary at VC anyway?
Hookem1...so, to use your figures, anyone that makes over $21,500 would fall into your category of high compensation since they are above average? I'm not sure what the VC average is...then again, I'm not the one claiming that they are "one of the most highly compensated groups that currently exist". I'm sure you know and have made that comparison since you made the statement. Right?
Also, as to your statement about "A person does what is necessary to acheive (sic) a high level of education for his own benefit"... those advanced degrees (Masters) that the VC faculty have...those are REQUIRED by accrediting agencies such as the Southern Association of Colleges. If you want a junior college in your town, then there are requirements for it's faculty. And, you don't have to compensate him for the rest of his life...you could move someplace that does not have a college taxing district. Problem solved.
And, as to the accountability issue...the college is audited by federal, state, and local accounting firms for all funds spent. The Board of Trustees are elected by the citizens of Victoria County and have open meetings. The budget is an open record. Have you ever been denied information about the College and its finances or its operations and been denied that information? It sounds to me that they are accountable. And, it seems like they are doing a pretty good job...the Aspen Institute (an international think tank) has ranked the college in the top 10% nationally.
As to your statement about being required by law to pay for services if you use them or not....there are alot of people who pay taxes to VISD that never use their services (e.g. private schools, or no children). VISD tax rates go up...their employees get raises...are they also "confiscating" other people's property? Should citizens be able to opt out of paying taxes simply because they don't use the service(s) they are being taxed for?
The 2010 census states that the per capita income in Victoria county is $21,500 (round numbers). How would that compare with V.C. average?
Yes, businesses in the 'real world' have the ability to raise prices to their customers ... but their customers are not required, by law, to pay them. (Weather they use their services, or not)
A person does what is necessary to acheive a high level of education for his own benefit, (this is commendable). The rest of the citizenry should not be required to compensate him for the rest of his life.
V.C sells a product. They should be compensated according to market value of that product. When citizens are forced to pay for that product, weather they use it or not, and at ever increasing rates, and with no accountability it is confiscation of other people's property.
HookEm1...where do you get your figures to state that VC employees are "one of the most highly compensated groups that currently exists". Who are you comparing them with, and what methodology did you use for your comparison?
While it may be true that the individuals in the top tiers of administration make a pretty good salary...isn't that true in the 'real world" as well? And some (not all) the instructors make good money as well...but, considering their level of education (practically all have Masters degrees, many of them have Doctorates) I don't think the pay is out of line. What other workforce in Victoria County (the "real world") has that high a level of education? If you can find one, what are their salaries?
Which bring us to the majority of the employees of VC...administrative support staff (clerical) and maintenance. Please...please identify your source of information that identifies these people as being "highly compensated". Again, what PUBLISHED research/methodology was used in your comparison?
Finally, remember that even though VC salaries are taxpayer funded...all the employees live in "the real world". They shop at HEB, they buy gas for their cars, they pay mortgages, they buy clothes for their kids, they have doctor bills, etc. Should they give up their hope of getting raises simply because they are taxpayer funded?
Businesses in the "real world" give raises to their employees and pass the cost on to the consumer through higher prices ...you are just not as aware of it because they are not required to publicly inform you that they are doing it.
Call this what it is ... in plain language.This is a direct transfer of property, in the amount of $604,484, from all the citizens of Victoria county, to what is one of the most highly compensated groups that currently exists. In addition to this, V.C. states that they will increase tuition rates on their students. (Just let the students get bigger student loans, right?)
"Butler mentioned employees will have higher insurance rates with fewer benefits". ... No kidding. Welcome to the real world!
"The raise would go a long way toward maintaining a high morale". ... With everything else going on in the world, we certainly wouldn't want our college professors to have 'low morale'!
"Butler told the commitee the college will need to continue to focus on being fiscally efficient," ... I'm sure this means even more ridiculously overblown parking lot markers!
This reader (and taxpayer) finds this situation to be totally disgusting! These people have the power to take your money, with absolutely no accountability.