Increased valuation helps fund WNCC budget

The fiscal 2013-14 budget for Western Nebraska Community College has a $750,000 hike in property tax asking as the college addresses needed infrastructure improvements and deals with declining state aid and tuition income. Most of the 8.3% property tax asking increase is funded by added valuation across WNCC's district.

Vice President of Finance Bill Knapper says a quarter cent hike in the capital improvement fund accounts for part of the added tax asking. The levy increase will provide $241,000 for much needed HVAC improvements at Pioneer Hall and the main building, which are both over 40 years old.

But Knapper says the additional $500,000 in tax asking, funded by the increased valuation, is needed due to two other factors, one of them shrinking state aid. Knapper says the state gave the community colleges an overall 4% hike in state funding, but WNCC's share was only 2.1%, so the general fund needed a boost in revenue.

Knapper says the college also lost tuition income when enrollment went from a record 2,236 to 1,969 this year.

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