Austin, TX – March 7, 2006 – On Monday, the Austin Community College District (ACC District) Board of Trustees voted to hold an election May 13 to annex territory within the San Marcos Consolidated Independent School District (SMCISD). In January the Board certified a petition of almost 2,000 signatures from San Marcos registered voters asking for an election to annex SMCISD.
Should San Marcos voters approve the measure to join the ACC District, the decision would expand affordable access to higher education to thousands of potential students and more than 600 San Marcos residents already attending ACC. Currently San Marcos students pay the out-of-district tuition rate of $333 for a typical three-credit-hour course; in-district students pay $159 for the same course. With annexation, San Marcos students would save $174 per three-credit-hour course.
“At the February 2 public hearing in San Marcos we heard first-hand accounts from students dealing with challenges of paying out-of-district tuition and driving to Austin for classes,” said Dr. Barbara Mink, chair of the ACC Board of Trustees. “Annexation would allow the College to assist these students by expanding resources in San Marcos through a more comprehensive community college presence.”
If San Marcos residents choose to join the ACC District, the College’s tax base will increase less than 5 percent. After homestead exemptions are calculated, at current assessed values, ACC stands to gain approximately $2.4 million in revenue per year from SMCISD taxpayers.
” although higher education participation levels have increased among SMCISD graduates, educational attainment in the San Marcos area continues to lag other Central Texas cities,” said Dr. Stephen B. Kinslow, ACC president. “If we are to meet the State’s goal of enrolling an additional 630,000 students into higher education by 2015, we must continue to expand access to affordable education.”
ACC’s maintenance and operations tax rate is capped at 9 cents per $100 assessed property valuation – well below the average of community college tax rates in the state — and cannot be increased without voter approval. Additionally, voters in 2003 approved a 1 cent tax to retire general obligation bonds for facilities improvements.
In other business, the ACC Board also accepted an offer of land in San Marcos on which a comprehensive campus will be built pending the annexation of SMCISD.Back to Top