I believe education is important. I also believe Southeast Community College (SCC) does good work. However, the $369 million bond measure, which will end up costing taxpayers more than half a billion in new taxes by the time interest is added on, is too much to ask of the taxpayers in Jefferson County. I encourage everyone to vote NO on this massive tax increase Nov. 8. We just can’t afford it.
Everyone who is planning to vote needs to know that over the last 10 years SCC has already increased their property tax collection by 210 percent in Jefferson County. That’s not a misprint, 210 percent!
Most of us already have plenty of bills to pay and I’m guessing few, if any of us, saw our income increase 210 percent over the last 10 years. Most of us are working very hard to make ends meet and need every dollar we have to help pay for things we need for us and our families, like groceries, clothes, housing expenses, car payments, and the list goes on and on.
In 2015, SCC collected more than $1.3 million dollars in property taxes from Jefferson County taxpayers. If this bond measure passes, SCC is expected, at a minimum, to take another $15,000,000 (million) out of the pockets of Jefferson County taxpayers by the time we’re finished paying off this bond.
SCC has to understand we aren’t an endless supply of money. We have personal budgets and in those budgets we have to determine what are wants, what are needs, and what we can afford. If we can do that, SCC can too. However, this $369 million bond looks to be a list of wants with no prioritization that calls for acquisition, renovation and new construction of facilities including a brand new downtown campus in Lincoln.
None of the new money in the bond even accounts for the costs associated with ongoing operations, maintenance and staffing for new facilities, which will bring additional costs as well. Even more concerning is the fact that if this bond passes, SCC still has state granted authority that can be used to raise property taxes even more, without having to go to the people.
A vote against SCC’s $369 million bond is not a vote against education, it’s not a vote against progress and it’s not a vote against SCC. Voting NO sends the right message letting them know the people they are taxing live in a world where they have to make ends meet, they care how their tax monies are spent and they expect those asking for more out of their bank accounts to specifically be asking for needs, not wants that lead to wasteful spending.
I’m voting NO on SCC’s $369 million tax increase and I ask others to join me in doing that on Nov. 8.