ACC Proposes Raising Tax Rate by a Half Percent; Average Homeowner’s Tax Bill Will Decrease

While the Austin Community College District proposes slightly raising its property tax rate to mitigate a decrease in property values, many homeowners will see their ACC tax bills drop for the coming year.

The ACC Board of Trustees received the proposal for a half percent (0.5 percent) increase for the fiscal year beginning September 1, 2010, during its August 2 meeting. The board will vote on the rate at its September meeting.

The proposed tax rate is $0.0951 (9.51 cents) per $100 valuation; the 2009-10 tax rate was $0.0946 (9.46 cents). Though that represents a small rate increase, the average residential tax bill will decrease slightly (about $2) due to a decline in taxable value for the average homestead. The proposed 2010-11 rate is still considerably lower than the state average community college tax rate of $0.15 (15 cents).

“ACC is committed to being a good steward of public funds,” says Dr. Stephen B. Kinslow, ACC president/CEO. “Our board took a judicious approach to reducing costs in the new budget, allowing for necessary growth without reducing instructional programs or student services during a period of large enrollment increases. While our property tax revenue will go down this year, the college will continue to meet the vast educational needs of the Central Texas region.”

ACC offers a standard $5,000 homestead exemption plus a $105,000 exemption – the most generous in the region – for senior citizens and homeowners with disabilities.

The maintenance and operations portion of the tax rate will remain unchanged at $0.09, a cap that cannot increase without voter approval. The tax also includes $0.0051 for debt service. When taxable values decline, the debt service rate must increase to generate enough revenue to cover the debt service payment.

The value of the average Travis County homestead decreased by 1.4 percent this year; the value of the average Williamson County homestead went down by 1.9 percent.

The adopted 2010-11 budget includes $94,632,593 of property tax operating revenue (which funds instructional programs, student support services, and facility maintenance, among other things) and $5,402,271 of property tax debt service.

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