Board favors tax increase, two public hearings scheduled
$200 garage permit delayed until fall 2013.
Published: Friday, August 24, 2012
Updated: Friday, August 24, 2012 16:08
The Alamo College’s board of trustees voted 7-0 with no discussion Tuesday to propose a tax increase that will require two public hearings before final approval.
District 6 trustee Gene Sprague and district 8 trustee Gary Beitzel were absent.
Sprague said Friday he was unable to attend because of personal business. Beitzel could not be reached for comment.
The combined tax rate of $0.149150 per $100 of property value is less than eighth-tenths of a cent increase from the current combined tax rate of $0.141623.
Two public notices and two public hearings are required before the final approval of the tax rate because the combined tax rate is above the combined effective tax rate of $0.142231.
The two public hearings are scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Aug. 30 and Sept. 11 in Room 101 of Killen Center, 201 W. Sheridan.
The combined tax rate of $0.149150 includes a maintenance and operations tax rate of $0.104400 and the debt levy tax rate of $0.044750.
The maintenance and operations tax rate of $0.104400 would result in estimated operating tax revenues of $103.1 million.
The proposed tax rate would add $10.85 to the average home valued at $144,161.
At the July 11 board budget retreat, Diane Snyder, vice chancellor for finance and administration, told trustees that a tax increase is necessary to counter state funding declines from 22 percent to 12 percent over the next 10 years.
In related business, trustees unanimously approved the fiscal year 2012-13 total budget based on the increased tax rate.
The total budget includes projected revenues of $453.7 million, restricted and plant fund balance commitment of $73.9 million, operating fund balance commitment of $3.57 million and expenses of $531.14 million.
At the July 24 regular board meeting, trustees unanimously approved a $293 million total operating expense budget for fiscal year 2012-13.
In other news, trustees unanimously approved changing the date the district will begin offering $200 garage-only parking permits to fall 2013.
The parking permits are designed to guarantee a parking spot in garages at district colleges and were scheduled to be sold Jan. 1.
By August 2013, a total of 2,750 parking spaces will be available throughout the district’s three garages — one at Northwest Vista and two at this college.
The new type of parking permit was proposed to help fund the $15 million parking garage as part of a public/private partnership between this college and the Tobin Hill Neighborhood Association.
The increase in parking permits will provide $320,625 annually.
The parking garage will have 961 parking spaces, of which 369 spaces will be available for students during the day and commercial use at night. The other 592 will be reserved for residents and commercial use.
In other news, the board recognized the Aug. 31 retirement of Dr. Ana “Cha” Guzman, president of Palo Alto College.
“My work at Palo Alto College has been a labor of love,” Guzman said. “I have enjoyed this job more than any other job.”
She has been president of the South Side college since 2001 and will take her new post as president of Santa Fe Community College Sept. 4.
“I took the big gulp even though I wasn’t ready. … I have loved this so much and somehow every morning I get up and I can’t wait to get to Palo Alto College,” Guzman said. “I truly believe God has given me a gift in giving me Santa Fe Community College.”
At a special meeting Oct. 5, the board voted 8-0 to allow college presidents to take advantage of a 50 percent retirement incentive if they elect to retire by Feb. 28, 2013, six months before the end of the current two-year contract, Aug. 31, 2013.
Presidents who participate in the program will follow the same criteria as retirees from summer 2011 and receive 50 percent of current salary for a year. A retiree cannot apply for a job in the district for two years after retirement.