Board approves 2018-19 property tax rate

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District 1 trustee Joe Alderete Jr. Said it was unfair to students that district credits do not always transfer to four-year universities Sept. 18 at a board meeting at Killen. Alderete said universities want students to attend their school first and if they start to fail, they can go to a two-year college, pass and get the credit. Christina Emmett

The board discusses student credit transferability.

By Kimberly Caballero

At the Sept. 18 regular meeting, the board of trustees approved the proposed 2018-19 tax rate, reviewed a report from the Senate Committee on Higher Education and approved a memorandum of agreement between Texas FAME and Alamo Colleges at St. Philip’s College.

The board voted on the “Motion to Adopt Minute Order Setting Tax Rate,” which states, “I move that the property tax rate be increased by the adoption of a tax rate of $0.149150 per $100 of taxable value which is effectively a 2.70% increase in the tax rate.”

It was approved unanimously.

The tax rate has not increased but the district will earn more revenue because of increased property valuations.

District 7 trustee Yvonne Katz was absent.

No citizen comments accompanied the Alamo Colleges two public hearings Sept. 4 and Sept. 6 at Killen Center on the 2018-19 proposal to increase the total tax revenues of the Alamo Colleges from properties on the tax roll in the preceding year by 2.70 percent.

A $100,000 property value taxed at $0.149150 per $100 will pay taxes of $149.50.

The average 2017 Bexar County taxable value of a residence homestead was $194,640.

It was taxed at the fiscal year 2017-18 rate of $0.149150 per $100, meaning an average payment of $290.31, according to the draft “Notice of Public Hearing on Tax Increase” posted on the board’s website under the Aug. 21 agenda.

This year’s average Bexar County taxable value of a residence homestead is $205,434. Adopting the effective tax rate for this year of $0.145224 per $100 of taxable value will tax the average home $298.34, according to the draft.

Adopting the proposed tax rate of $0.149150 per $100 of taxable value will tax the average home $306.40.

Katz said Sept. 10 there is no property tax rate increase.

“We’re not increasing any property taxes, but that is the statement proposed by law we have to use,” she said.

Katz said the increase in property value increases tax revenues.

“With those property values increasing at county and city level, then that increases that amount automatically, so we don’t have to increase tax value.”

District 1 trustee Joe Alderete, chairperson of the Policy and Long-Range Planning Committee, discussed the Senate Committee on Higher Education report.

Alderete said he gave the report for Chancellor Bruce Leslie, who attended the committee meeting.

Leslie was out of town and incoming chancellor Mike Flores sat in for him at the board meeting.

Leslie’s last day as chancellor is Sept. 30.

Alderete said the main topic discussed before the committee was transferability of credits.

“Dr. Leslie and several others went to go speak to the Senate Committee on Higher Education,” he said. “Obviously, the main topic was the transferability of our credits with our students,” he continued.

Alderete said it is important for the committee to hear the success rate of community colleges.

“It’s so important that these people that are at this level — and the Coordinating Board is an appointed board — they need to hear the actual success rate that our presidents and their students and their faculty actually have so that they can understand that the community college is really doing their job beyond what some of our four-year institutions are doing in terms of the success rate we’re promoting,” Alderete said.

“They’re still trying to find out how and why the core and the field of study doesn’t transfer, and they’re challenging us to prove it.”

It should be easy to prove because several students have been unable to transfer credits, he said.

Alderete said he, Sanchez and others on the Policy and Long-Range Planning Committee will continue discussing the issues, but he is unsure of when that will be.

The board approved execution of a memorandum of agreement with Texas FAME, the Federation for Advanced Manufacturing Education.

MOVE UP Texas FAME is “a collaborative of employers who work collectively with colleges to participate in and support the Advanced Manufacturing Career Pathways, including the Advanced Manufacturing Technician,” according to a slideshow at the July 24 board meeting.

The minute order states, “In July 2018, the Board adopted the TXFAME and Alamo Colleges Program Expansion Task Force Recommendations to increase the enrollment capacity of the SPC AMT (Advanced Manufacturing Tech) and TXFAME programs at St. Philip’s Colleges-Southwest Campus to 250 enrollments by Academic Year 2022 to address current manufacturing workforce needs and to position Alamo Colleges and TXFAME to align with long-term local manufacturing industry demand.”

Sprague said the MOA increases “enrollments to 250 in the TX FAME program, which is an advance manufacturing tech program with Toyota, H-E-B and several others.”

The item passed unanimously.

The five committees are scheduled to meet at 6 p.m. Oct. 9 at Killen Center.

For more information, call board liaison Sandra Mora at 210-486-9863.


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