NEWS HEADLINES

More tax dollars headed to college

By Kristen Tribe | Published Saturday, August 23, 2014

Weatherford College Wise County will receive more local tax dollars in 2014-15.

Wise County commissioners proposed Tuesday to keep the branch campus maintenance tax at the current rate of 4.618 cents per $100 valuation, which will generate approximately $170,600 more than last year.

The move came at the request of campus officials, Dean Duane Durrett and Associate Dean Matt Joiner, who had both addressed commissioners over the last two weeks.

“Today I’d like to recommend on behalf of [college president] Dr. (Kevin) Eaton and the board of trustees leaving the tax rate at its current rate,” Joiner told commissioners in a budget workshop Tuesday morning.

The increase in funds will help cover a proposed $6.2 million budget that’s up slightly from last year.

Joiner said it’s a 5.32 percent increase, primarily due to a 20-plus percent increase in benefits and a 3.75 percent raise for all full-time employees. He said part-time instructors will also see a 4.2 percent increase in pay.

Another increase to the budget was a new position – workforce and economic development coordinator, who plans continuing education programs such as Spanish, photography and computer classes.

“Otherwise budgets by and large were very flat or decreased,” he said.

Joiner also noted the change in the calculation of the indirect costs, which comes in at $849,176. That resulted in a $43,656 savings for the county.

Indirect costs are based on actual institutional support and administrative costs provided by Weatherford College to the Wise County campus. The number includes 39 categories such as human resources, communications and public relations, admissions, financial aid and the learning resource center.

County Judge Glenn Hughes thanked Joiner and Durrett during the workshop this week for their conscientious efforts.

“I feel like your interests are with Wise County and with the college,” he said. “I’ve been surprised and pleased with the way you’ve tried to work with Wise County on this. I really appreciate the way that y’all have done.”

The Weatherford College board is expected to adopt the budget Thursday, Aug. 28.

Commissioners will hold public hearings on the branch campus maintenance tax rate 8:30 a.m. Tuesday, Sept. 2, and 6:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 5, in the third-floor conference room of the courthouse in Decatur.

They are expected to adopt a tax rate for the college at a special meeting 9 a.m. Monday, Sept. 8.

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