TJC trustees approve $82.38 M budget

Published on Thursday, 28 August 2014 22:55 - Written by Betty Waters blw@tylerpaper.com

Tyler Junior College trustees on Thursday approved an $82.38 million budget for fiscal 2015, a 4.68 percent overall increase.

The board also set the tax rate at 19.9926 cents per $100 valuation, the same as last fiscal year. The 2015 rate is projected to generate about $22 million in ad valorem tax revenue for a 3.1 percent increase due to higher property valuations. 

The fiscal 2015 tax rate will effectively be raised by 4.15 percent and raise taxes for maintenance and operations on a $100,000 home by approximately $1.58.  

The new budget totals $82,382,596, compared with last year’s budget of $78,702,708. 

“I think it’s a good budget; it will get us where we need to be,” President Dr. Mike Metke told the board during a budget workshop prior to a regular meeting in which the board adopted both the budget and tax rate. 

Sarah Van Cleef, vice president of business affairs and chief financial officer, informed the board about items affecting revenues and expenses. 

Revenues are affected by a 2.76 percent increase in property valuations, enrollment projected to remain flat or slightly decline, stable state appropriations and a slight increase in tuition and fees due to programmatic differential fee additions and a new technology fee. 

Auxiliary services revenue is projected to be slightly down due to a commission agreement with the college bookstore, while other sources of revenue are projected to be substantially greater than last year due to more students taking the Texas Success Initiative test and the distribution from the Tax Increment Financing for the West Campus Energy Center. 

The other source of revenue is a transfer for a bond payment for Ornelas dorms and a transfer of funds to the college from the TJC Foundation of pledges for the nursing building. 

Expenses to support new programs for the Robert M. Rogers Nursing and Health Science Center as well as expenses for the West Campus Energy Center and the new residence hall impacted expenditures. All are under construction and scheduled to open in the new fiscal year. 

New programs that are expected to start generating revenue in fiscal 2016 include veterinarian technician, electrical/electronics controls technician, wellness and exercise, dental assisting, occupational therapy assistant and physical therapist assistant. 

The college also is now offering new Level One certificates in areas such as healthcare administration and has increased personnel for the new buildings for campus police, facilities and construction and technology. 

Other things that drove expenses, Ms. Van Cleef said, include expansion of the Emergency Services Program in a partnership with East Texas Medical Center, expansion of the honors program, implementation of a “one stop shop” concept to better serve students, introduction of a new sport (women’s softball) and cost allocations to cover an increase in health insurance and the match increase for the Teacher Retirement System. 

The college realized cost efficiencies, Ms. Van Cleef said, through a 30 percent decrease across the board for travel, special events and meals, plus a phase-in approach for furniture, fixtures and equipment purchases where appropriate. 

A chart showed sources of funding: 48 percent student derived, 20 percent state appropriations, 21 percent district taxes, 6 percent debt service and 5 percent transfers. 

Another chart showed major categories of expenditures: salaries, 56 percent; operations, 27 percent; equipment, 2 percent; debt, 13 percent; and transfers, 2 percent. 

In an unrelated matter, the board listened to a presentation about the East Texas Medical and Dental Outreach program conducted in June at Van Junior High School, assisted by volunteers and students from TJC and Baylor College of Dentistry. 

The program was aimed at providing preventive and primary health care to underserved East Texans. 

More than 45 TJC volunteers participated, including dental hygiene students, graduates, alumni and faculty. 

According to Christina Horton of UTHealth Northeast and Joshua Liescheski of the Texas Department of State Health Services, 300 patients received dental treatment, including 360 extractions, 140 fillings and 220 sealants placed on children. The dental services had an estimated value of $115,000.