NECC President testifies at hearing over property tax funding - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

NECC President testifies at hearing over property tax funding for colleges

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LINCOLN, NE (KTIV/US92) -

A Nebraska lawmaker wants to stop using property taxes to pay for community colleges, which has some Siouxland college administrators worried.

Northeast Community College President Doctor Michael Chipps testified before the Nebraska Legislature's Education Committee Tuesday.

Dr. Chipps spoke in opposition to a bill proposed by Senator Al Davis which would eliminate county property taxes as a funding mechanism for community colleges, shifting all funding over to the state level.

Sen. Davis said the current funding formula is unfair to rural residents who are levied taxes without much benefit back from the schools.

But Dr. Chipps said shifting the funding burden over to the state would be a lot for Nebraska to bear.

"Even if the legislature based this decision only on a fiscal note, the resulting financial impact to the state would be staggering," said Dr. Chipps.

Dr. Chipps estimated that eliminating property taxes from the funding formula would double the cost of tuition at community colleges, while also eliminating local control over the colleges' operations

Sen. Davis said even if his proposed bill doesn't pass, he'd like community college funding to be part of the ongoing tax reform discussions in Nebraska going forward.

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