The Austin Community College District (ACC) Board of Trustees adopted the 2019-20 tax rate during a September 16 special meeting.
The approved tax rate of $0.1049 (10.49 cents) is among the lowest of community colleges statewide. It includes $0.09 for maintenance and operation costs and $0.0149 for debt service.
"ACC remains committed to serving all of our community's needs and is grateful for their ongoing support," says Gigi Edwards Bryant, ACC board chair. "Affordability is a large and growing concern. I'm pleased that we were able to approve a lower rate than what was proposed. Every saving we can provide makes a difference."
ACC's adopted rate is slightly lower than the proposed rate of $0.1050 (10.50 cents) which was presented at public hearings held on September 9 and 12.
Based on the adopted rate, the amount of taxes imposed on the average home will be $373.38.
To offset the impact of increased property appraisals, trustees approved a standard $5,000 exemption for all homeowners in the district. An additional $160,000 homestead exemption also remains available for seniors and homeowners with disabilities.
"The college strives to be a good steward of taxpayer dollars," says Neil Vickers, ACC executive vice president of finance and administration. "Tax dollars make up 60 percent of the college's operating budget."
About 60 percent of ACC's $406 million budget comes from property tax revenue. The college benefits from a large tax base that includes portions of six counties. The region's increasing property values and new growth allow the college to balance reductions in state support, which has dropped from approximately 40 percent to 16 percent of ACC's annual budget in recent years.
Tuition and fees make up approximately 19 percent of the total budget. The board previously voted to maintain in-district tuition rates for the sixth consecutive year and lower tuition and fees for out-of-district students who are seeking online or distance education options. At $67 per credit, ACC in-district tuition is the most affordable among area colleges and universities.