ACC trustees raise tax rate to fund voter-approved bonds


Highlights

ACC’s new tax rate of 10.08 cents per $100 of assessed value applies to the budget year that began Sept. 1.

The vote by the Board of Trustees to raise the tax rate was expected and unanimous.

Austin Community College trustees have raised the college’s tax rate by a little less than half a cent, to 10.48 cents per $100 of valuation. That works out to a $33.70 increase in the annual tax bill for the owner of an average-value house.

The increase from the previous rate of 10.08 cents applies to the budget year that began Sept. 1. As a result, the college’s tax bill for a home with the average value of $336,361 after exemptions will be $352.51, according to ACC documents. By comparison, taxes have been $318.81 for the past year on the average-value home of $316,276.

The vote by the Board of Trustees on Monday to raise the tax rate was expected, and it was unanimous.

The increase stemmed from the final issuance of bonds approved by voters in 2014, said Jessica Vess, an ACC spokeswoman. The 0.4 cent increase in the tax rate brings the total tax rate increase resulting from the $386 million in voter-approved bonds to 1 cent, half the rate that had been projected, she said.

ACC has broken ground on or completed all of its proposed bond-supported projects. Construction of the San Gabriel campus in Leander and expansions at the Round Rock, Hays and Elgin campuses were completed in the past year. A second phase of work at the Highland campus and renovation of the Rio Grande campus are expected to be completed in 2020.

ACC trustees previously approved a $10,000 increase, to $160,000, in the college’s tax exemption for homeowners with disabilities and for those 65 and older. All homeowners get a $5,000 homestead exemption, which brings the total exemption for homeowners with disabilities and seniors to $165,000.

ACC’s taxing district is vast, taking in the city of Austin — including the portions of the Eanes and Pflugerville school districts that lie within the city — as well as the Austin, Del Valle, Elgin, Hays, Leander, Manor and Round Rock school districts.

The college’s property tax revenue for the past year totaled $199.3 million. The increased tax rate, coupled with new property added to the tax rolls, is projected to bring in $228.9 million, a 14.9 percent increase, according to ACC documents.

Tuition and fees for students living in the ACC taxing district remain unchanged at $255 for a typical three-credit course, lowest among Central Texas colleges and universities. Out-of-district Texas residents pay $1,083 for such a course, down from $1,089 in the past year.



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