Regents approve budget, tax rate

The Board of Regents approved a new tax rate at its Aug. 27 meeting with the adoption of a $107.9 million maintenance and operations budget.

The budget, a 5% increase from last year, covers employee raises, salary and benefits, non-salary expenses, the beginning of the south campus construction and more.

The average annual tax is estimated at $465, based on the average property value of $165,574.

The board also approved tax exemptions dealing with qualified disabled veterans and charitable organizations. The disabled veterans exemption also applies to a surviving spouse or child of a deceased veteran, with the exemption being as much as $12,000. Variables are a factor with the calculations, which focuses on disability, age and the nature of the disability.

With the charitable organizations, there are many variables to qualify the exemption. For example, the property must be owned by a charitable organization and be used exclusively by a qualified organization. 

Tammy McDonald, vice president of administration and human resources, said the common base pay for faculty would go from $48,750 to $50,000 with the adoption of the budget. Employees will receive an average 3% raise.

August Alfonso, vice president for facilities operations and chief information officer, spoke to the board about choosing a construction company to begin construction for the south campus 1A project. He said a committee recommended Fulton Coastcon Construction for the project.

The first phase of the new campus, scheduled to open in fall 2021, will consist of the main building, library, STEM building, culinary arts and some site development.

The south campus 1A project was approved in 2016 with a bond of $139 million.

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