The Texarkana College Board of Trustees have voted to approve a tax increase for the budget year 2017-18.

“The revenue from this slight tax increase is needed to make sure our faculty, equipment and facilities are ready for the advanced technologies students are going to find when they enter the workplace,” Russell said. “Even with this slight increase, TC will still have one of the lowest community college tax rates in the state.”

Trustees conducted public hearings on August 14, 2017, and August 21, 2017, to receive input from the public on the proposed rate. With the newly adopted rate, Russell said homeowners in Bowie County will see a very slight increase in their property taxes.

“A homeowner with $100,000 in property value will see an increase in taxes of approximately $7.40 per year,” said Russell. “However, homeowners who are at least 65 yrs. old and have filed a homestead exemption with the county will see no increase in their taxes because their tax rate is frozen.”

Also, Trustees learned today that the TC Faculty Association will invest $40,000 in the TC Foundation for the purpose of establishing an endowed scholarship fund. Members of the Faculty Association award up to ten student scholarships annually through funds acquired by faculty payroll deductions and memorial donations. Now, as a permanent endowment, the fund can continue to grow through donations as well as through interest earned on the principal investment.

“We are so fortunate to have caring faculty at TC who support our students not only through their time and effort, but also through scholarships,” said Katie Andrus, TC Foundation Director. “We want to honor the Faculty Association today for supporting our students through their generous donations.”

Andrus said the permanent endowment will ensure students continue to benefit from the faculty’s generosity for many years in the future.

Trustees also took action today to approve a Memorandum of Understanding between Texarkana Independent School District (TISD) and TC for the agreement of providing funds to pay TC for administrative direction of TISD’s adult education grant. TC employee Melisa Jones will serve as director of the Adult Education & Literacy Center for the 2017-2018 school year.

“TISD is in its final year as grant administrator of the Texas Workforce Center’s Adult Education grant program,” said Dr. Donna McDaniel, VP of Instruction. “TC will collaborate with TISD by providing a director during this final year with anticipation of Texarkana College applying for the adult education grant and assuming the program in its entirety next year.”

McDaniel said the two parties will meet regularly to maintain the integrity of the program and evaluate effectiveness throughout the transition. The program provides services to adult learners seeking to earn their Texas certificate of high school equivalency (GED), become proficient in English as a second language, or sharpen basic skills to prepare for admissions into higher education programs. Other services are available to help students enter the workforce and prepare to become US citizens. The program is located on the TC campus in the former Physical Sciences building (on the corner of Tucker St. and Johnson Ave.).

In final business, trustees approved the final budget for 2017-2018 fiscal year. Preliminary drafts of the budget have been presented and reviewed by trustees over the last two months.  Kim Jones, CFO and VP of Finance, said the budget is based on enrollment projections consistent with prior years.

“We have gone through and made additional adjustments and revisions of some projections and have presented a breakeven budget,” said Jones. “This is a bare bones budget that does not currently include provisions for capital projects.”

Jones said additional adjustments may be necessary once final enrollment numbers are in and the tax rate is set.

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