The Austin Community College board of trustees approved proposing a not-to-exceed property tax rate of $0.105 per $100 of taxable value for fiscal year 2019-20 at an Aug. 6 meeting.
The maintenance and operations rate remains at $0.09 per $100 of taxable value, a rate that has remained unchanged for more than a decade, while the debt service rate increased from $0.0148 to $0.15, per the proposal.
The reason the debt service has increased is because the Travis Central Appraisal District has not yet certified its appraisal roll, said Neil Vicker, the executive vice president of finance and administration, to the board members.
The TCAD is in the process of assessing the value of properties throughout the county, which will ultimately determine residents’ tax bills this fall.
While county residents will not know their estimated tax bills for the year until those appraisals are finished, those who live within Austin Community College’s taxing district do know the tax rate ACC is proposing this year.
“There’s a little bit of nuance this year,” Vickers said. “Normally, we would bring the exact rate that we know it’s going to be. … We bring you for board consideration an estimated rate and a not-to-exceed rate.”
The debt service rate increase is to allow a cushion, Vickers said, although he estimates the actual rate that will be approved will likely be $0.0148 or $0.0149.
The board’s approval of the proposed rate now sets a process into motion that will lead to the adoption of the rate ACC will tax residents within its district. The district will hold public hearings, tentatively scheduled for Sept. 9 at 3 p.m. and Sept. 12 at noon, at board headquarters, located at 5930 Middle Fiskville Road.
After the public hearings, at a meeting on either Sept. 16 or Sept. 23, the ACC board will then hold a vote to adopt its tax rates.
The schedule of public hearings and adoption is subject to change based on when the TCAD certifies its appraisal roll. The TCAD has let taxing entities know, according to ACC board documents, that certification will be delayed this year.
While the state requires appraisal districts to certify the appraisal roll to taxing jurisdictions by July 25, ACC estimates completion this year will be Aug. 20.
The reason for the delay, according to TCAD staff, is the high volume of protests filed.
The property taxes ACC collects will be part of the funding for the district’s $406 million budget in FY 2019-20.
During budget meetings this spring, district staff projected ACC would bring in approximately $22.61 million more in property tax revenue in FY 2019-20 than it did in FY 2018-19.