A Van community leader asked the Tyler Junior College board to remember the economic situation of all of its constituents when making tax-rate related decisions.

Jerrod Fishback, executive director of the Van Economic Development Corp., said he was not advocating for or against the college's proposed tax rate, but simply asking the board to continue to consider Van Zandt County when making decisions.

That county has four times fewer people living in it than Smith County but a considerably higher tax rate when considering all governmental entities, Fishback said. He said declining oil and mineral valuations have not helped the area.

Still, he said the corporation fully supports TJC and the people of Van love TJC.

"I would just ask that you continue thoughtful (consideration) of those in Van or Van Zandt County," he said Thursday.

The board met at 5:30 p.m. on the TJC main campus to hear any comments from the public about the increase in tax revenue for the coming budget year.

The college is proposing to maintain the existing tax rate of 19.99 cents per $100 valuation.

However, an expected 2 percent increase in property valuations is expected to garner an additional $500,000 in revenue, according to TJC officials.

The plan is to put that toward the college preservation fund, which exists to provide for the upkeep of college infrastructure.

Because of the projected revenue increase, the college had to have the public hearings. No one addressed the board during the first hearing on Monday.

The TJC board is scheduled to vote on the tax rate and budget during a board meeting Thursday.


City Editor

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