The Austin Community College District Board of Trustees approved a $406 million budget for 2019-20.
The budget represents a 5.7 percent increase over the 2018-19 budget. New expenses include expanded operations at ACC Highland, which is set to open in fall 2020, and increased instructional faculty, staff, and equipment. It also includes a three percent cost-of-living raise for employees.
Just over 19 percent of the budget’s revenue comes from tuition and fees, a two percentage point decrease from the 2018/19 budget. Trustees voted in May to keep tuition and fee rates for in-district students unchanged for the sixth consecutive year. Trustees also approved to lower distance education courses by $75 per credit hour for out-of-district students and $81 per credit hour for out-of-state and international students.
“Nationwide, we’ve seen the cost of college rise. Affordability is a large and growing concern. We are committed to finding new ways of keeping costs down and ensuring access for everyone,” says Gigi Edwards Bryant, ACC Board of Trustees chair. “I am proud we can approve a balanced budget that takes care of our students’ needs and provides competitive salaries for all employees.”
Property tax revenue is expected to generate about 60 percent of ACC’s total revenue for the year while state appropriations represent just under 16 percent.
To offset the rising cost of property taxes, Trustees approved a standard $5,000 exemption for all homeowners. An additional homestead exemption also remains available for seniors and those with disabilities totaling $160,000.
The new budget is effective beginning September 1.