ACC board adopts tax rate for 2015-16

The Austin Community College District (ACC) Board of Trustees adopted a $.1005 (10.05-cent) property tax rate for 2015-2016 on Monday, October 5. The .63-cent increase over last year is due to voter-approved bonds.

“We are grateful for the community’s investment in ACC,” says Dr. Vic Villarreal, ACC Board chair. “The college is committed to delivering an exceptional return on that investment. Campus renovation and new construction projects are planned districtwide to provide new and exciting opportunities that prepare students for well-paying jobs in our community.”

The college’s new tax rate of $0.1005 per $100 valuation remains among the lowest at community colleges statewide.

ACC benefits from a large tax base that includes portions of six counties. Additionally, the region’s increasing property values and new growth allow the college to offset deep cuts in state funding. State funding has dropped from approximately 40 percent to less than 20 percent of ACC’s annual budget in recent years.

Trustees voted to hold the maintenance and operations portion unchanged at $.09, a rate that hasn’t increased since 2006.

“We want to remain sensitive and thoughtful to our taxpayers. This budget reflects months-long, thoughtful planning,” says Villarreal. “We know that deep cuts from the state mean a larger burden falls on our community and students.”

The board voted to maintain in-district and out-of-district tuition rates, which had increased at unprecedented rates in recent years. To offset the impact of increased appraisals, the board also expanded the tax exemption for seniors and homeowners with disabilities by $10,000, from $125,000 to $135,000, the largest exemption among taxing entities in Central Texas. The college also grants a standard $5,000 homestead exemption.

Over the next year, ACC will break ground on bond projects that include: a new campus in Leander, renovations on the 100-year-old Rio Grande Campus, and expansions at Round Rock, Elgin, Hays, and Highland campuses. Districtwide improvements also are planned.

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