VC academic building

Victoria College’s Academic Building

Victoria College’s board of trustees prepared for the process of adopting the 2022 college tax rate next month in their meeting on Monday.

The board unanimously approved Ashley Hernandez, the Victoria County tax assessor-collector, to calculate this year’s property tax rate based on the property value assessed by the county’s appraisal district.

The board will discuss this tax rate in a public meeting on Aug. 8. If the proposed rate exceeds the no-new-revenue tax rate, but does not exceed the voter-approval tax rate, then under state law the board would have to hold a public hearing before approving the rate.

That situation happened last year for VC, and the college’s Vice President of Administrative Services Keith Blundell thought it was likely to happen this year as well, he said during the meeting.

That hearing would be held on Aug. 15, and the board would be able to vote to approve the rate later the same day.

In the event the approved rate exceeds both the no-new-revenue and voter-approval rates, which Blundell thought was unlikely, then the college would have to hold both a public hearing and an election.

College President Jennifer Kent told the board the school received a $200,000 mental health grant, which will allow the school to create a counseling center and hire a counselor offering services like small group counseling sessions and telehealth mental health support.

The center also will be an internship site for University of Houston-Victoria counseling master’s students.

“That is definitely one of our priority areas, not just at VC, but we hear that at institutions of higher ed everywhere, students’ mental health is a rising concern,” Kent said during the meeting.

The center will open in the fall, she said.

The board also approved a contract with Aramark for campus food services and a contract with EAB Navigate for a software system, continuing the college’s relationship with both companies.

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Ian Grenier covers K-12 and higher education for the Victoria Advocate. You can reach him at igrenier@vicad.com

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