The Lone Star College System board of trustees voted to accept the proposed budget for its 2022-23 year, showing increases in both revenue and expenditures with no current change to the total tax rate during an Aug. 11 meeting.
Jennifer Mott, LSCS chief financial officer, said there has been an increase in revenue of $25.2 million while maintaining a property tax rate of $0.1078 per $100 of valuation.
During public comment, multiple residents asked for an increase in their homestead exemptions from the current 1% up to 20% allowed by state law, citing concerns from a combination of high appraisals and rising inflation costs. Homeowners currently are eligible for $5,000 or 1% of the market value, whichever is greater, and $75,000 for persons 65 years or older and disabled persons.
LSC Chancellor Stephen Head the college is down around 2.8% in credit hours going into the fall semester, or around $5 million in revenue. Head said the board will be putting together additional information to speak with residents at a future date.
Mott said around $7 million of the revenue comes from increased tuition and fees that were adopted in March for the fall semester.
For expenditures, Mott said there has been a total increase of $29.8 million, the bulk of which was for compensation increases for staff at $21.6 million.
Other increases included $4.8 million in inflation contingencies, $3.5 million in coronavirus initiatives, $1.1 million back to the repair and replacement fund, $1 million in elections and $810,000 for safety initiatives.
Mott added there had been around $11.6 million in overall budget reductions to offset the increases.
Moving forward, the board of trustees will receive a proposed tax rate and set a public hearing in September. Following the special hearing, the board will vote to adopt the tax rate.