Property tax rate should stay the same, trustees agree

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Public hearings in September will precede board’s final vote.

By Cynthia M. Herrera

cherrera151@student.alamo.edu

Although Alamo Colleges may not increase its property tax rate, taxpayers probably can expect about a $20 increase on their 2016 taxes because of higher 2015 property values, according to a recommendation approved by the board of trustees Tuesday in Killen Center.

Tracey Sulak Bedwell, treasurer for the Alamo Colleges, proposed Aug. 11 to the Audit, Budget and Finance Committee to keep the property tax rate the same by reducing the current maintenance and operation tax rate to below the rollback level and reallocating $0.0011 per $100 valuation from the maintenance and operation rate to the debt rate, leaving a combined rate of $0.149150 per $100 for the fiscal year 2015-16, the same level as the 2014-15 fiscal year.

The current maintenance and operation tax rate is currently set at $0.106400 and a debt rate of $0.042750.

Bedwell said the average homeowner paid $233.37 in taxes for the Alamo Colleges during the 2014 tax year, but in 2016 they will be expected to pay $253.73, a $20.36 increase. Property values were higher for 2015.

James Rindfuss, District 9 trustee and non-committee member, said on Aug. 11 he would like to lower or keep taxes at the same rate for the citizens.

“I want us to have a conscience about these numbers we talk about. They sound so good, that we’re going to do all these things with all this extra money, but this has to come out of somebody’s pocket,” Rindfuss said, “These people, the recession is not over for them, we need to really be conscious about what we’re doing here.”

The board will host public hearings on the tax rate Sept. 1 and Sept. 8 at Killen Center. Trustees will adopt the tax rate at their regular board meeting Sept. 15.

Tuesday’s agenda also included the fiscal year 2015-16 all funds total budget.

The board approved an all funds budget of $449,551,408 for the 2015-16 fiscal year.

The all funds budget consists of total revenue and total expenses for the Alamo Colleges.

The 2014-15 all funds budget was $422,693,905.

Alamo Colleges will operate on more than $328 million, assuming enrollment will be flat except for increases in new programs and early college high schools, an $11 million increase over the operating budget of more than $317 million for 2014-15.

The next meeting will be the Standing Committee at 6 p.m. Sept. 8 in Killen Center.

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