BOWIE COUNTY, Texas (KTAL/KMSS) – Public hearings start next week concerning a proposed property tax increase to benefit Texarkana College.
School officials are asking for comments on a four percent increase, which would help them bring parts of their campus into compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Texarkana College President Jason Smith said residents with a home assessed at $100,000 would see about a $5 increase.
He adds that the state is continually shifting the burden for funding community colleges to the students and taxpayers. “Thirty years ago in 1986, particularly .. 66 percent of the funding came from the state of Texas. Now, it’s 23 percent. The philosophy of the state of Texas is that burden should go on the students’ tuition and also on the local taxpayers.”
Smith said the school just raised tuition costs for students that went into effect this fall, which amounted to about $10 to $15 dollars per student. “Right now, Texarkana College has the mid-range of tuition costs, which makes us competitive. We also have the tenth lowest tax rate in the state of Texas, but we have the highest completion rates and graduation rates in the state of Texas. So, we really do think that Texarkana College is a great investment for our community members,” Smith said.
Smith adds that Texarkana college is a major economic engine for the workforce in the area. The school features training programs for major employers including local hospitals, Cooper Tire, Domtar and Red River Army Depot.
Public hearings are set for Monday, August 12 and Monday, August 19 at 11:30 a.m. in the Truman Arnold Student Center.
The college’s board is set to vote on the matter August 26.