The Howard College Board of Trustees held a public hearing, Thursday evening at 5:30 p.m. in the Fireplace Room on the Howard College Campus. The public hearing focused on the proposed 3% tax increase for the upcoming 2020-2021 proposed budget.
The Fireplace Room filled with concerned community members. The board heard from a handful of residents, with each who spoke voicing how they were against a tax increase this year.
"This is not the time" seemed to be the consensus of business owners, retired teachers, and community members. While each of those who spoke agreed that Howard College holds an important place in the community, they each asked the Board to vote against an increase.
After hearing from those who wished to address the Board, Dr. Cheryl Sparks provided background on how the Trustees came to look at a 3% increase. With the recent legislative changes to the tax worksheets, decreased collections, increased deficient funds, and low enrollment numbers and contact hours, the upcoming year is surrounded with uncertainty.
The Howard College Board of Trustees heard from the community Thursday evening, but will not take to a vote on the proposed increase until Aug. 31. More information can be found on the Howard College website regarding the proposed rate.