Northeast Community College retained the same levy as last year, 9.5 cents per $100 of assessed value, for the 2019-20 academic year following its tax request and budget hearings on Thursday afternoon. Of the levy, 2 cents are allocated for the building improvement levy, which also will be unchanged from last year.
The total valuation of the tax levy for 2019-20 year is $33,148,828,886, which is $348,313,412 less than last year’s value of $33,497,142,298, a decrease of 1.04%.
The budget includes three tax-supported funds:
— The general operating budget at $47,950,317.
— The building improvement budget at $15,297,284.
— The accessibility/Haz Mat budget at $72,130.
There is also the self-supporting funds budget, which the tax levy does not support, at $43,377,307 this year.
All three tax-supporting budgets are less than last year’s figures. The general operating budget is down from $49,024,243, the building improvement budget is down from $18,298,860 and the accessibility/Haz Mat budget is down from $297,518.
In the general budget, there are some increases in expenditures, including student services, institutional support and facilities. Steve Schram, co-interim president, said these increases are needed to best serve students.
“Funding for the college’s general fund budget comes primarily from student tuition and fees, state aid and property taxes,” he said. “Funding continues to support the board’s goals through the Vision 2020 strategic plan, a negotiated total compensation increase with employees and continuation of expenses such as an increase in utilities, insurance, software licenses and maintenance agreements.”
Factors affecting operational funding include increased Nebraska, Iowa and South Dakota resident tuition rates of $3 per credit hour and nonresident tuition of $4.50 per credit hour.
The board raised rates last November to $99 per credit hour for Nebraska residents, $100 for Iowa and South Dakota residents and $139 per credit hour for students living elsewhere.
Another factor was the board’s approval of a 1% budget lid override in the August monthly meeting, which allows the college to accept additional state aid or property tax dollars only if they become available, Schram said.
State statutes set a lid on property tax levies and the budget. The budget lid limits restricted funds of state aid and property taxes by 2.5% plus growth in full time equivalent over 2.5%. It allows for a 1% additional increase with 75% board approval.
For property taxes, the levy must not exceed the difference between 11.25 cents and the rate levied for capital improvement funds per $100 of taxable property valuation for operating expenditures.
The college also received a 2.52% increase in certified community college system aid, which is $2,471,517 for fiscal years 2017-19. Northeast’s certified state aid allocation for FY 2017-19 is an increase of $314,014, including $16,905 to be distributed to the tribal community colleges, for a net increase of 2.21%.
The decline in 20-county area property valuations translates to $330,898 less revenue for the college, but some of that has been offset by the nameplate capacity tax, which applies to facilities that generate electricity using wind, solar, biomass or landfill gas.
To balance the budget, administrators cut $2.7 million in expenditures.
The boards approved motions to adopt the budgets and approve property tax requests following public tax and budget hearings. No members of the public spoke.
The Northeast Community College Board of Governors met Thursday in the College Welcome Center for its regular meeting.
Regular meeting duration: 41 minutes.
Board members present: Del Ames, Carol Sibbel, Steven Anderson, Gene Willers, Dirk Petersen, Jeff Scherer, Terry Nelson and Donovan Ellis.
Board members absent: Keith Harvey, Arlan Kuehn and Julie Robinson.
Others in attendance: Two media representatives, 10 college employees, two members of the public and one college student.
Executive sessions: None.
- Adopted the agenda.
- Approved minutes from the Aug. 8 regular meeting.
- Approved claims.
- Approved property naming recommendation.
- Adopted the 2019-20 general operating budget, building improvement budget, accessibility barrier removal/haz mat budget and self-supporting funds budget.
- Approved the amendment to the college center at South Sioux City Interlocal Agreement.
- Announced a vacancy in the board of governors, district II, and directed the president’s office to proceed with filling the vacancy.
- Recognized the classified staff association, faculty association and professional/managerial employee groups to begin salary and benefits negotiations.
DISCUSSED BUT NO ACTION TAKEN
- Mary Honke, co-interim president, reported on college happenings, including the all-college in-service and Nexus capital campaign.
- Amanda Nipp, vice president of student services, reported on recent student events, including residence halls, student orientation, TRIO program kickoff, career services job fair, fall sports and welcome-back activities.
- Dr. Michele Gill, interim vice president of educational services, reported on Fridays @ Northeast, the ag department’s new natural resources program and student and faculty awards.
- Coleen Bressler, interim vice president of administrative services, provided the financial report.
- Drew Smith, Student Leadership Association president, shared recent SLA activities, including a beginning-of-the-year workshop, Coffee on the Go event and upcoming activities.
- Board member Steven Anderson provided the Nebraska Community College Association report.
- The governance committee provided a first reading of revisions to BP-3610, Grant Development, Management and Compliance.