VC finance committee explores budget solutions
March 9, 2011 at 7:02 p.m.
Updated March 8, 2011 at 9:09 p.m.
Faces were tense as Victoria College board members on the finance committee discussed the best way to help the school deal with a possible $2.1 million budget cut.
Three measures were on the table: increase tuition, increase the fee charged to students who live outside Victoria County or increase the tax rate.
The committee recommended to increase student tuition from $34 per credit hour to $43 and the out-of-county fee from $45 to $47 per credit hour. The tax rate would also be affected and is projected to possibly increase from 15 cents to about 16 cents per $100 evaluation of property.
The full board will convene March 21 and can vote whether to approve the recommendation.
"If we're convinced we're giving our people a fair break, I think that's the best we can do," said Thomas O'Connor, board member.
The decision will have to be made quickly because the school will begin fall registration next month, the earliest its ever done.
Although the tax rate won't be set until September, board member Roger Welder believes an increase is inevitable.
"I don't see how we're going to survive that course without an increase in taxes," he said. "I don't see any way around it."
The college's main sources of funding are through tuition and fees, local taxes and state funds, said Keith Blundell, vice president of administrative services, but the state keeps trickling less to the money pot.
"Now, the state is just almost dropping out of the picture," he said.
VC President Tom Butler said the committee also should focus not only on this year's cuts but future needs, as it examines tuition increases and the tax rate.
"We don't want to put ourselves in this position every year where we're going crazy trying to make our budget," he said.
Corrected and clarified March 11, 2011
The Victoria College finance committee did not recommend an increase in taxes at its Wednesday meeting. The committee used a formula to determine how to make up an estimated $2.1 million state cut from its budget. The formula produced a scenario that shows taxes would be projected to increase from 15 cents to about 16 cents per $100 evaluation of property. A story on Page B1 on Thursday, March 10, was unclear.