TJC board proposes half-cent tax increase, sets dates for public hearings

During its regular meeting Thursday, the Tyler Junior College Board of Trustees approved the proposal of a half-cent tax rate increase for 2018-19 and set dates for public hearings.

The proposed rate is contingent upon further information from the Smith County Appraisal District (SCAD). Based on input from public hearings and the additional information received from SCAD, TJC has an opportunity to adjust the proposed rate. The TJC board will adopt the final tax rate during its next regular meeting on Thursday, Aug. 30.

The proposed tax rate increase of .005 cents would bring TJC’s total tax rate to 0.204926 per $100 valuation, which is comprised of a maintenance and operations rate of 0.162059 and a debt rate of 0.042867.
 
If the proposed rate is approved at the TJC August Board meeting, the average homeowner would see an estimated increase of 65 cents per month over what they would have paid if the tax rate were kept flat. TJC would receive approximately $550,000 in additional revenue as a direct result of the proposed increase. Once the additional information from SCAD is available, finalized numbers will be made available and presented as part of the public hearings.
 
TJC has seen a 10 percent decrease in per-student funding from the state over the last five years. TJC Administration and the Board of Trustees, as a matter of policy, have worked to maintain tax rate stability through strong control of discretionary spending. TJC has not raised its tax rate in the last five years.
 
TJC educational instruction costs have increased substantially over the years as the College has added and expanded high skills/high need/high demand programs. TJC has built a comprehensive portfolio of degrees and certificates aimed at meeting the needs of its students and the regional workforce. Recently added new programs such as Culinary Arts, Industrial Maintenance, Veterinary Technician, and many more workforce education programs require specialized equipment and technology for the learning environment. TJC continues to respond to the community needs for training for higher paying positions. 
 
The public hearings will be held in the White Administrative Services Center board room on the following dates:
 
• 11 a.m. Thursday, Aug. 16
• 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 23
 
About TJC
Established in 1926, Tyler Junior College is one of the largest community colleges in Texas, with more than 11,500 students enrolled per semester.
 
For more than 90 years, TJC has embodied the true sense of the term “community college,” as reflected in its foundational promises to provide students with a quality education, a vibrant student life and opportunities for service to the community.
 
TJC offers more than 125 degree and certificate programs, plus extensive training and technical programs, and offers opportunities for students to transfer to a four-year institution or gain the skills they need to go directly into the workforce; and it is the only Texas community college to offer a Bachelor of Science degree in dental hygiene.
 
TJC features a 137-acre campus, rigorous academics, 60 national championships in athletics, stellar fine and performing arts programs; modern residential facilities, and organizations and clubs that reflect student diversity.
 
This year, the Aspen Institute College Excellence Program named TJC as one of the nation’s top 150 community colleges.

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