VC proposes tax rate based on increased property values

Aug. 3, 2011 at 3:03 a.m.

An increase in property values will help offset Victoria College's nearly $1.8 million in state budget cuts.

The college board's finance and resources committee is expected to recommend the general board approve a .75 of a cent tax rate increase based on property values that increased 2 percent from last year.

The existing rate is 15.31 cents per $100 valuation and the proposed new rate would be 16.06 cents per $100 valuation.

The tax increase is expected to bring in an extra $604,484 to the college's $28.7 million proposed budget. The rest of the state cuts will be covered by a tuition increase, enrollment growth and cuts in spending.

The college "is still affordable, and now with a small tax increase, it's going to put us in a good position not only for the year we're budgeting, but also for years to come," President Tom Butler said.

The committee is recommending a budget that factors in a 2 percent salary increase and an increase in adjunct professor pay.

The raises are expected to cost about $320,000.

In a previous budget workshop, Butler fought for the salary increase that would keep the college competitive with the pay at similar institutions.

The raise "would go a long way toward maintaining a high morale, and it also mitigates a problem we would face next year of trying to make up more ground," Butler said in a June workshop.

In Wednesday's committee meeting, Butler mentioned employees will have higher insurance premiums with fewer benefits. The raise will hopefully help offset that out-of-pocket change, he said.

Butler told the committee the college will need to continue to focus on being fiscally efficient, as state funding will most likely be low for years to come.

"It's not like we got through it and now we can breathe a sigh of relief," he said. "It's more like we continue to go through it. They call it the new normal."



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