OC sees an increase in tax revenue

The budget for the 2022-23 fiscal year and a tax abatement for a cement company were discussed by the Odessa College board of trustees during a workshop Wednesday in the Wood Math and Science Building.

The notice said the meeting was taking place at 6:30 p.m. in the Zant Community Hall in the center of the Saulsbury campus, but the time and location have been moved. Ashley Warren, executive assistant to the president, said there was a technical problem with the calendaring software and business meetings are still held at noon.

The board did not have a quorum, but a Freedom of Information Foundation Hotline consultant said the board could discuss matters without one being present, but could not take any decision.

The next regular meeting is scheduled for August 2 at 6:30 p.m. in the Zant Community Hall in the center of the Saulsbury campus.

The board is considering a tax refund for GCC, a cement company. Vice President of Administrative Services Ken Zartner said the deal is still ongoing.

“We have to write the legal agreements, but our proposal that the council is considering, it did not pass, is a five-year deduction, a 50% deduction, then a 6-10 year deduction at 25%. With those two prepaid abatements,” Zartner said.

GCC is proposing a $400 million expansion of its facilities.

CFO Brandy Ham said the proposed budget with all funds is $75,241,575. Unrestricted funds are $58,761,177 and restricted and plant funds are $16,480,338.

Ham said the earmarked funds include things like Pell Grants and any remaining CARES money. CARES stands for Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security.

Overall, Ham said the budget increased by $5,537,000, which equates to a 10.4% increase.

Ham said looking at revenue projections to support the budget, tuition and fees increase by $3.3 million, or 24%.

Taxes are also increasing by $2.1 million, which Ham says equates to a 7.9% increase. She added that this is based on net taxable values ​​increasing by 13.5%.

Budget priorities for the year are keeping salaries competitive, supporting the OC 10,000 initiative, investing in student success strategies, and completing ongoing construction projects on campus.

“Some of the major new initiatives (are) telemental health software that will help our students…around the clock; a 20ft shipping container for our OSET CE department (OSET stands for Occupational Safety & Environmental Technology); chat platform license, so that we can chat with students online from the platform; pantry vouchers; vehicle replacements. There are two golf carts in there; then a ranch water well,” Ham said.

Regarding pantry vouchers, Ham said the college has set aside funds for pantry food and vouchers for students to eat in the cafeteria when they are physically on campus.

Ham said the budget also includes a net increase of 23 full-time positions.

“Our faculty and staff are increasing by 18 positions. Administrative and support staff of five positions for a total of 23. …,” Ham said.

Ham said the proposed budget also includes a 6% increase for all eligible full-time faculty, professional and classified staff.

OC has 422 employees in the proposed budget, but not everyone would be affected by this. They should have been hired before April 15 to be eligible, Ham said.

The salary change is from 15 semester credit hours for faculty to 18 semester credit hours for faculty, a one-time $300 mid-year stipend for all eligible full-time employees, and then a performance bonus in mid-year for all eligible full-time employees. employees on time, she said.

Ham said there were 422 employees in the proposed budget, but not everyone would be affected by that. They should have been hired before April 15 to be eligible, she added.