MATC leaders propose smallest tax increase in recent years

April 11, 2013

From madison.com: “MATC leaders propose smallest tax increase in recent years” — Madison Area Technical College leaders are proposing to raise taxes by less than 1 percent next year, which if passed would be the smallest hike from the college in recent years.

It’s part of an overall budget that has closed an estimated $5.2 million shortfall through a variety of measures including raising selected student fees and cutting 10 jobs although no faculty will be let go, said Tim Casper, assistant vice president for budget and public affairs.

Taxes on the average $239,239 Madison home would increase by about $3 under the proposed 2013-2014 budget presented at a District Board meeting Wednesday, bringing the total MATC tax on the mythical average home to about $437. That does not include other portions of the tax bill, such as city, county and public schools.

The modest tax increase comes after larger bumps by the college in recent times. The average annual increase between 2001 and 2011 was 6.32 percent. Last year the college’s portion of the tax bill rose 3.96 percent.

The small bump budgeted for next year takes advantage a new wrinkle in Gov. Scott Walker’s biennial budget that allows technical college districts to raise property taxes at the percentage of equalized value due to new construction. The college estimates that change allows it to levy an extra $750,000, Casper said.

The total amount the college would levy is $123.8 million. The college’s general fund, which pays for day-to-day operations, will be about $150.5 million, an increase of about 2 percent next year.

Ten positions would be cut under the new budget, including three that are currently vacant, Casper said. Six staffers would be cut in the business procurement center, with another 1.2 full-time equivalent positions in health education cut. The job cuts will save $580,000, Casper said.

Students applying to the college would pay $25 to take the college’s Compass entrance test, a fee that’s already levied on prospective students at all other state technical colleges, Casper said. Students would also pay an “academic support fee” starting next year of $1.65 a credit for college transfer students and $1.22 a credit for students in occupational paths.

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