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The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Trustees vote to approve new Tarrant tax rate

Alex+Hoben%2FThe+Collegian+Board+President+Teresa+Ayala+talks+at+the+board+meeting.
Alex Hoben/The Collegian Board President Teresa Ayala talks at the board meeting.

HOPE SMITH
editor-in-chief
hope.smith393@my.tccd.edu

The TCC board of trustees recently adopted a new tax rate reduction of 1.8 cents.  

Ronnie Watkins, executive director of finance and administrative services, presented the tax rate plan to the board at the Sept. 13 work session.  

He reiterated that he and his team worked hard to keep the taxpayers in mind, as well as the college, when developing the new tax resolution.  

 “We are a community college and we have listened to our community. We do understand the burden of the taxpayers,” he told the board. “I’m also reminded of the mission of Tarrant County College as well. Tarrant County College provides affordable and open access to quality teaching and learning. To me, that’s value. We have quality learning at an affordable price. That’s good value. That’s what we hold onto.” 

This rate is the 2023 tax rate based on the appraised value of a property by the Tarrant Appraisal District. Each fiscal year, the board votes on a new rate for TCC.  

For the 2023-24 fiscal year, it is 11.217 cents per $100 in valuation.  

Previous exemptions to this rate continue to exist for specific groups. Those with disability have $3,000 excluded from their appraisal value, and people over 65 years-of-age have the first $50,000 removed from the appraisal value.  

The homestead exemption was added in June, as well. It excludes 1% of an appraisal value with a $5,000 minimum.  

Some taxpayers are pleased with the new change compared to last year’s tax rate. Tarrant County resident Daniel Bennett commented at the board work session Sept. 13 asking the trustees to be cautious about their tax decisions based on the “bloated” tax rates from last year.  

He also urged the trustees of the Tarrant Appraisal District to take a no confidence vote due to the problematic practices he felt the chief appraiser used in moving money around to stay within budget. 

“I appreciate you reviewing the board in its current state and taking that vote,” he said. 

TAD’s Chief Appraiser Jeff Law resigned Sept. 1 after the Tarrant County Commissioner Court passed a no confidence vote against Law. At the Sept. 21 board meeting, a no confidence vote on TAD was moved but it did not pass.  

With elections for TAD starting, the TCC board of trustees can cast five nominations.  

Trustee Shannon Wood moved to nominate Vince Puente and was seconded by Trustee Gwendolyn Morrison. Along with that, Trustee Laura Forkner Pritchett moved to nominate Gary Losada and was seconded by Wood. Both motions carried.  

To wrap up the tax talk, the board discussed replacing the previous Finance and Audit Committee with an Internal Audit Committee to increase engagement with the Internal Auditor and District’s office. It will be governed by the Internal Audit Committee Charter.  

General Counsel Carol Bracken explained this topic to the trustees at the Sept. 13 work session.  

“The other purpose of this is to review with the auditor substantiated reports that come in on our anonymous fraud and abuse hotline,” she said. “Because a lot of the audit process – and certainly also the view of these substantiated complaints can be very sensitive – involves information about personnel,” she said to the board. 

At the Sept. 21 board meeting, the motion was carried, and President Teresa Ayala appointed three board members to the committee: Leonard Hornsby as committee chair and Wood and Kenneth Bahr as committee members.  

The next TCC board meeting will be held Oct. 26 at 6 p.m. 

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