Dear Publisher:

 

I read your editorial about the NCTC bond issue. Iím impressed with your knowledge of NCTC. Having served as a NCTC Trustee from 2004-2010, I too agree that improvements are needed and that NCTC is a strong asset to Cooke County.I donít agree that we need to spend $32.5 million on monuments.

 

Do we want to spend $32.5 million like royalty, more than doubling the NCTC tax rate for the next 25-30 years?Can we afford more than $2,000 in additional taxes for a home valued at $100,000 over the life of the bond?Are there less costly alternatives?Should the costs be allocated fairly and evenly among those who use the buildings, or should a small minority of taxpayers pay the full cost of the improvements?

 

NCTC has opened two campuses in Denton County in the last 12 years.The Corinth Campus was built for about $8 million.According to the latest NCTC charts, it serves about 5500 students.Flower Mound was opened this spring, I think for less than $2 million, and already serves almost 900 students.I take NCTC at their word that no Cooke County tax dollars are spent in Denton County.If NCTC opened two campuses in Denton County serving almost 6400 students for about $10 million, why does it cost $32.5 million to partially upgrade the Gainesville Campus with less than 2400 students?Less than 900 students come from Cooke County.Logic would argue necessary improvements could be done for $5-10 million.NCTC hired an engineer who said the sinking floors in the 300 building could be permanently fixed for $300,000.

 

NCTC opened two Denton County campuses with no Cooke County taxes.Denton pays no NCTC taxes.Canít they figure out how to provide what is needed in Gainesville without doubling our property taxes for the next 25-30 years? I think we are looking at a wish list, not a conservative list of minimum needs.Do we really need a Showcase administration building for $13 million at a cost of $278/SF.?It was only a couple years ago that we remodeled it.

 

For many years, Cooke County Taxpayers have been subsidizing out-of-county students to the tune of more than $1 million a year, based on calculations required by state law, when setting tuition.Please see the Register ads Bill Ledbetter, Dave Flusche and I ran in May 2004 and the ads I ran in May 2008 offering $500 to the favorite charity of the first person who could prove me wrong on this.Three years later, there have been no takers on that offer.It appears NCTC is proposing to increase the wealth redistribution from $1 million a year to about $2.5 million a year at the expense of the Cooke County Taxpayer.

 

According to the US Census Bureau, the median Cooke County household income in 2008 was $49,705. That compares to $73,678 in Denton County where the majority of NCTC students come from.President Obama wants to redistribute money from the wealthy to the less fortunate.I am particularly opposed to redistributing Cooke Countyís hard earned tax dollars to students who come from wealthier families, that on average earn almost half again as much as Cooke County Taxpayers.Not even President Obama would do that.

 

Letís vote no on this bond proposal and ask NCTC to come up with a modest plan.Itís not fair to ask Cooke County Taxpayers to double our taxes and pay the full cost of the facilities when we only have a small minority of NCTC students, just 1 out of 9 overall.

 

Steve Gaylord, 2436 FM 2848, Valley View, TX 76272, (940) 726-6112