There are a few questions I think your readers should ask themselves about the NCTC Bond election:
1. Does my vote count?† Ask the last voter who voted for the Grayson College bond a few years ago.† THAT BOND PASSED BY ONE VOTE.
2. How many Cooke County students attend NCTC compared to the total?† According to the latest NCTC Spring enrollment on their web site, it appears Cooke County residents total 809 of 2256 students on the Gainesville campus.† System wide, Cooke County appears to have 999 out of 9235 students.
3. How many students come from Counties that pay NCTC taxes?† 999 from Cooke County and 183 from Graham which is limited to a tax of 5 cents and it canít be used for new buildings.† That leaves 8053 students out of 9235 that come from areas that pay no NCTC property tax.
4. How much of the facilities bond is NCTC asking Cooke County residents to pay?† All of it, (100%), although we have just over 1 in 3 students on the Gainesville Campus and less than 1 in 9 system wide.
5. How much of the $32.5 million bond is going to classroom buildings?† $14.3 million.
6. What happened to the administration building where the college executives have their offices?† It is being converted to a Student Life / Activities Center for $4.6 million which will be primarily used by students living on campus, very few of which come from Cooke County.
7. Where are the college executive and administrative offices going to be?† They are moving to the new building called the Student & Academic Support Center.† Rather than repair the existing 300 building for $1 million, the college wants a new building estimated to cost $13+ million @ $278/SF for office space.
8. Does any Cooke County tax money go to support out-of-county students?† Cooke County taxpayers pay in more than one million dollars extra a year when compared to the average rate of local funds per credit hour, (tuition plus taxes).† Three years ago I offered $500 to the favorite charity of the first person that could prove I was wrong on this.† So far there have been no takers.
9. How much will my college taxes go up and how much will it cost in total?† NCTC taxes will more than double from 7.2 cents to somewhere between 14.45 and 16 cents depending on the rate and term.† The bond resolution allows up to a 40 year term and the maximum interest rate allowed by law so itís not real clear.† It appears that the average home valued at $100,000 would pay more than $2,000 in additional taxes over the life of the bond.
If NCTC could find a way to share the cost of the classroom upgrades among all the students that use them vs. just Cooke County taxpayers whose students make up just over 1/3 of the students on the Gainesville Campus, I could support a more modest building program.† I canít support more than doubling our taxes for executive and administrative offices that cost $278 a square foot, or taxpayers paying $4.6 million for a Student Activity Center that will be primarily used by resident students who come from outside of Cooke County.
Valley View, TX