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This week the papers have been full of stories of local cities and school districts facing anguished choices of cutting staff and services or raising taxes. Dallas, Plano, Frisco and their school districts may have to do both - raise taxes and cut staff.
The tone of the budget deliberations the Collin County Community College District Board of Trustees held this evening was a breath of fresh air in these troubled times.
The district voted to cut the tax rate - for the ninth consecutive year. It approved a 3% raise for all faculty, staff and administrators and it cut in-county tuition and fees by 8%. Collin College now offers the lowest total tuition and fee scale in the State of Texas.
The college district has done this and is still able to maintain a AAA bond rating.
The budget approved tonight balanced revenues to expenses. The total expenditures for all funds equaled $164.4 million of which $5.7 million is for debt service. The budget keeps $3.8 million in contingency and reserve.
The college's enrollment continues to climb - up an anticipated 15% this year. Because of this growth, Collin College will add 31 new staff positions next year to keep its fastest growing programs available. (The rest of the district has been on a hiring freeze.)
The tax rate was set at $.086300/$100 which was a slight decline from last year's $.086493. About 52% of the district's revenue is from property taxes. Tuition adds about $22 million. Grants, state and federal funding make up the remainder of the college's revenue.
The Board of Trustees also extended the 3 year contract of its president, Dr. Carey Israel, an additional year and granted Dr. Israel a 3% salary increase.
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