Southeast Community College in Lincoln is offering a $369-million bond issue and it’s drawing opposition from a key organization.
Steve Nelson, president of the Nebraska Farm Bureau, says they’re against the bond issue because of how it will impact the many thousands of taxpayers in the counties covered by the school.
“It would add significant pressure to property taxpayers who are already paying a disproportionate share of the tax load in the state of Nebraska,” Nelson says. “That’s where the concern comes from, from our members in all of the 15 county Farm Bureaus that are within the Southeast Community College district.”
Nelson says the project’s ultimate goals aren’t clearly spelled out, but one thing is clear, its $369-million price tag is a shocker.
“It’s a massive project with a proposal to do building and renovation on multiple campuses,” Nelson says, “but it’s a little unclear to the patrons as to what the priorities are and where that building will start and certainly a concern as to whether or not, in the end, it will reach all of the campuses they’re talking about.”
Nelson says a wiser move would be to prioritize the projects in smaller, more targeted ways than to call for one giant spending measure.
“Maybe taking this in pieces might be better,” Nelson says. “It would help patrons understand what the goals are and what the priorities are as they would continue to develop campuses for the college.”
Nelson says it’s unusual for the Nebraska Farm Bureau to take such a stance, but it joined the opposition since all of the local county farm bureaus in the region are also against the measure.
By Jerry Oster, WNAX, Yankton