Homeowners in McLennan County will pay slightly more property taxes for McLennan Community College after trustees voted on a lower tax rate amid rising property values.
The council voted on Tuesday to set the tax rate at 13.91 cents per $100 of assessment, down 1.1 cents from last year’s rate but nearly half a cent more than the rate without new income. The college expects to generate $1.9 million more in tax revenue than last year, which will help fund a budget of $61.8 million for the coming year. The budget will include an average 5% increase in faculty salaries and bring staff salaries up to market average.
Total property values in the district rose 16% from a year ago to $25.2 billion, according to McLennan County Assessment District documents. The average home value increased by more than 29%, from $221,441 to $286,351. However, the average assessed value of homes, taking into account exemptions and limits on annual increases, jumped just under 8%, from $167,398 to $180,753.
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The owner of an average value home last year would have owed $251.10 in MCC taxes. At the proposed rate for the coming year and the new average value, that bill would increase by about 33 cents, to $251.43.
Trustees opted for a lower rate than two suggested in the scenarios presented by Stephen Benson, MCC’s vice president for finance and administration.
Increased student enrollment, projected from this summer’s enrollment trends, is expected to bring nearly $850,000 more in tuition and fees, but the additional revenue was needed to allow the college to conduct completed a multi-year effort to raise salaries for faculty, professionals and staff. market average, Benson told the board. Benson said employee salaries accounted for about 72% of the budget.
The administrators supported the salary increases, but asked if the tax rate could be lower than the scenarios presented by Benson.
To keep the rate low and increase funds, Benson suggested cutting the budget’s contingency fund.
Trustee Ricky Turman and Chairman of the Board K. Paul Holt said they support the move in light of ratepayer backlash to rising property assessments and actions taken by other entities. taxes to keep increases to a minimum.
“I think it goes a long way with relationships with people in the community,” Turman said.
The board has bent to dip into the contingency fund, especially after hearing that the college is planning some $2 million in federal funding for COVID-19 recovery this year. After some discussion and calculations, the trustees voted for the lower rate.
A public hearing on the proposed tax increase is scheduled for August 30. income rate. The no-new-income rate refers to the rate at which an entity would collect the same in property taxes from year to year, excluding income from properties newly added to the tax rolls.