Texas Senate Bill 315 is a Tax Land Grab

Legislation passed which allows Del Mar Community College to annex Aransas, Kenedy, Kleberg and part of Nueces and San Patricio Counties to include them in the tax base. This would represent a large tax increase to citizens in these counties. This legislation, SB 315, is on the Governor’s desk and needs to be vetoed!

Del Mar Community College recently passed a $108 million bond issue, which they want to spread to a larger tax base, but one that has not voted for the tax increase. If the tax rate remained at 22 cents per $100 valuation, the newly annexed taxing areas would generate $3l million. Currently, taxes make up one-third of Del Mar’s $64 million budget.

Students from outside the district pay 56% higher tuition. (Tuition is $133 for in-district students and $208 for out of district students). Continuing Ed and no-credit courses are the same for both. Only 18% of the college’s enrollment was from outside the district.

This is taxation without representation. The legislation, sponsored by Sen. Juan “Chuy” Hinojosa and Rep. Luna, does provide for an election but includes the current tax base with those to be annexed. The current tax base is much larger and those currently being taxed have been told their taxes would be lower if the outlying areas are annexed.

This will be a significant tax increase in these new areas, and according to former Sen. Carlos Truan, the tax will be an imposition in areas like Robstown which is considered low income.”

Aransas County has 236 students enrolled in Del Mar but would shoulder a $3 million tax bill. That figures to be $13,000 per student. Twelve percent of the student population at Del Mar comes form San Patricio County, but that county would have a tax bill of $6 million!

Two counties – Kleberg and Kenedy Counties — have no residents enrolled at Del Mar, but would see their tax bills go up! This bill sets a dangerous precedence and is bad tax policy and should be vetoed!

ACTION ITEM:

Call or fax the Governor’s office and ask that SB 315 be vetoed. It is a tax bill and a tax increase for residents of the proposed annexed counties, and the vote provided in the legislation would be heavily weighted by those currently being taxed since the proposed annexation areas have fewer voters.

To contact the Governor:

Fax a letter: 512-475-2211

Or call: 512-463-2000

Also citizens in the area should call your legislator and ask that they request a Gubernatorial veto:

Aransas County – Sen. Ken Armbrister – 512/463-0118

San Patricio County – Sen. Judith Zaffirini – 512/463-0121

Aransas and San Patricio counties – Rep. Gene Seaman – 512/463-0672

Kenedy, Kleberg Counties – Rep. Juan Escobar – 512-463-0666

Kenedy and Kleberg Counties – Sen. Eddie Lucio – 512/463-0127

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