ACC declares bond prop victory, tax cap proposal failure

Updated 11/6/14

Here are the final tallies, with all six counties within the Austin Community College district reporting. The numbers are according to ACC and are unofficial until canvassed by all counties.

ACC Proposition 1

For: 157,941 votes, or 56.85 percent

Against: 119,872 votes, or 43.15 percent

ACC Proposition Proposition 2

For: 157,651 votes, or 57.34 percent

Against: 117,296 votes, or 42.66 percent

ACC Tax-Cap Proposition

Against: 139,294 votes, or 51.12 percent

For: 133,201 votes, or 48.88 percent

Updated 8:55 a.m. CST 11/5/14

As of 5 a.m. Nov. 5, both bond propositions still hold substantial leads, 57 percent for versus 43 percent against, according to ACC tallies of the six-county district.

The school's request to increase its tax cap still trails in a likely defeat, with 51 percent of voters siding against the 3-cent incremental increase.

Updated 11:20 p.m. CST

Austin Community College is declaring victory for two bond proposals that combine for $386 million in districtwide improvements. Both Proposition 1 and 2 passed with 56 percent of the vote, according to ACC.

"This is a huge win for ACC, our students, and the community. The voters have overwhelmingly decided to invest in the future of their college," said Jeffrey Richard, ACC Board of Trustees chairman, in a statement. "The bond votes reflect the strong partnership we have with the community. Now, we can do even more to strengthen the workforce, expand programs, and improve student success."

The college also acknowledged its effort to increase the district's tax rate failed by a 52 percent to 48 percent as of 11 p.m. Nov. 4. The board had previously stated that, if the tax increase is approved, tuition would remain at the same rate for in-district students.

Now, with the 3-cent tax increase likely denied by voters, the school will review how best to find additional revenue.

"We have a strong track record of good financial stewardship, and we will do everything we can with the funding that's available," Richard said in a statement.

ACC will next decide on a timeline for spending the combined $386 million in bond funding.

Posted 7:30 p.m. CST

Austin Community College is counting on voters from its six-county service area to approve a combined nearly $386 million bond proposal and 3 cent incremental tax rate cap increase.

According to early voting results from Travis, Williamson and Hays counties, the first bond proposition—dedicated to projects that benefit ACC's planned growth and anticipated workforce development programs—has garnered 83,146 votes, or 55.5 percent of the total vote, and a second bond proposition—intended for safety, technology, environmental and sustainability improvements—has the support of 82,678 voters, or 55.9 percent. A total of 66,135 voters voted against the first proposition, and 65,184 voters voted against the second.

In addition, the district's request to increase its tax rate cap has 71,177 votes, or 48.5 percent, in favor and 75,591 votes against. If approved, the district's 9.49 cent property tax rate would incrementally increase by 1 cent in 2016, 2018 and 2020.

Below is a rundown of all projects slated for construction should the two bond proposals gain voter approval:

ACC bond election proposal ($385.97 million)

Proposition 1—Planned Growth and Workforce Advancement ($224.8 million):

Highland campus—creating space for digital media, commercial music, continuing education culinary careers and others ($152.8 million)

Leander campus—planned growth in the northwest Austin area ($60 million)

Land banking for Southeast Travis County Workforce Training Center ($12 million)

Proposition 2—Safety, Technology, Environmental and Sustainability Improvements ($161,166,950):

Districtwide renovations—health, safety and sustainability ($80,966,950)

Round Rock campus—program expansion ($33.4 million)

Hays campus—establish a First Responders Training Center ($22.4 million)

Elgin campus—create veterinary and sustainable agriculture programs ($13.2 million)

Retrofit, repurpose older spaces for kinesiology, art, dance, radio/TV/film, trades and other majors districtwide ($11.2 million)

Maintenance tax cap

This proposal is for the ACC maintenance tax cap to increase 1 cent in fiscal years 2016, 2018 and 2020. In addition, school administrators will begin budgeting for a tuition freeze the next four fiscal years.

By Joe Lanane
Joe Lanane’s career is rooted in community journalism, having worked for a variety of Midwest-area publications before landing south of the Mason-Dixon line in 2011 as the Stillwater News-Press news editor. He arrived at Community Impact Newspaper in 2012, gaining experience as editor of the company’s second-oldest publication in Leander/Cedar Park. He eventually became Central Austin editor, covering City Hall and the urban core of the city. Lanane leveraged that experience to become Austin managing editor in 2016. He managed eight Central Texas editions from Georgetown to San Marcos. Working from company headquarters, Lanane also became heavily involved in enacting corporate-wide editorial improvements. In 2017, Lanane was promoted to executive editor, overseeing editorial operations throughout the company. The Illinois native received his bachelor’s degree from Western Illinois University and his journalism master’s degree from Ball State University.