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College adopts effective tax rate, see increase in fall enrollment

All SWTJC locations will be closed Monday, May 27th in observance of the Memorial Day Holiday. Offices will open on Tuesday, May 28th at 8:00 am.

College adopts current tax rate, see increase in fall enrollment

The SWTJC board of trustees met in regular session on Thursday (Sept. 20) in Uvalde, highlighting the evening was the adoption of the current tax rate of $0.1652 per $100 valuation, which is approximately a 3% increase from last year’s tax rate.

SWTJC Board of trustees held two public hearings where members of the community could voice their concerns.

During the first public hearing (Aug.31) community member Sergio Porras of Uvalde urged the board members not to raise taxes.

“I am requesting that you consider not raising any more taxes,” said Porras.

In the second meeting (Sept. 6) Uvalde business owner Chad Doyle voiced the concerns of his 20 employees about the increase in taxes.

“The tax situation in Uvalde County has gotten out of hand for these people,” said Doyle. “They have to borrow money to pay their taxes.”

Doyle went on to say, “In my case, my taxes are up 165 percent from when I started 20 years ago, and I’m almost 65, when I retire I’m going to have to move because I won’t be able to afford it.”

In other business, board members approved an interlocal agreement with the City of Hondo. Also approved was the one-year hanger lease that houses the aviation program in Del Rio.

Trustees voted to approve a dual credit memorandum of understanding with Dilley Independent School District for the 2018-2019 school year.

In other matters, trustees decided not to act on board nominations for the Uvalde County Appraisal District.


Reports

SWTJC Registrar Steve Martinez reported a 4.5 percent increase in enrollment compared to fall of 2017.

According to Martinez, the final headcount number was 7,007 students enrolled, which translates to a .83 percent increase in contact hours and a 1.6 percent increase in credit hours in comparison to the fall 2017 semester.

Board members heard a report on Achieving the Dream by Connie Buchanan, vice president of Del Rio.

According to Buchanan, the report shows the high accomplishments of the college in student retention and completion.

In others reports, Derek Sandoval, vice president of administrative services reported on the annual security audit, which is an internal audit to evaluate disaster preparedness and emergency management for the college.

In his president’s report, Hector Gonzales, college president touched on numerous topics including dual credit.

“We have been meeting throughout the summer on ways to improve the efficiency of the registration process for dual credit.

According to Gonzales, over 2,500 dual credit students were enrolled for the 2017-2018 school year, with 3,000 registered this year. SWTJC officials estimate they will reach 3,500 enrolled students in three years.

Gonzales also reported on the desire to implement 8-week semesters.

“We have begun to evaluate if this makes sense for us and the steps to make it happen,” said Gonzales.

Other topics reported by Gonzales the improvement of the college's fund balance and the upcoming state legislative session in January.

Student engagement and success, air condition and refrigeration, auto body, auto technology, and diesel programs reported on 4DX.