Southeast Community College has approved a 20% tax rate increase, in large part to make up for a cut in state appropriations.
The college board of governors, meeting in Milford, has approved a $250 million budget, an increase of more than three percent.
Property taxes in the 15-county services area will increase 4.4%. The state budget approved by the legislature this year cut funding to SCC 4%.
Specifically, the board approve raising the SCC property tax levy from 7.52 cents per $100 of assessed valuation to 9.07 cents per $100 of valuation for the 2017-18 school year.
During a public hearing on the budget, retired Beatrice Agriculture Campus faculty member, Dennis Toalson, questioned the need to add associate dean administrative positions.
“If my projections are anything close to being correct, if you add these six positions plus the one that you have in place today, we’re going to add $840,000 to our budget,” Toalson told board members. “Is that something that we can really afford to do at this point in time?”
The board also approved a request to allow the Milford campus to offer associate degrees. A formal request has been forwarded to the Coordinating Commission for Postsecondary Education. School officials say the change would align offerings in Milford with those at the Beatrice and Lincoln campuses. It could also help diversify a student population at Milford that currently is 93% male.
Doug Kennedy, KWBE, contributed to this article.