WICHITA COUNTY (KFDX/KJTL)—Wichita County voters could soon be asked to decide whether a new taxing district should be established to support Vernon College’s Wichita Falls campus and job training programs.
The college’s Board of Trustees has voted to begin the process of calling an election possibly by May 2020.
College president Dusty Johnston said while there is a pressing need for new job training programs in Wichita County, the college’s capacity is now maxed out due to lack of adequate funding.
Unlike the Vernon campus, the Wichita Falls campus is funded primarily by tuition and fees and some state funding, but no local taxes. Wilbarger county taxes now fund approximately 12% of the Vernon campus’ budget.
Johnston said if Wichita County had a branch campus maintenance tax like seven other community colleges in texas, they could add new programs while reducing tuition for Wichita County residents and also add free dual credit class programs for high school students.
The tax would be set at 5 cents per $100 property valuation.
Before calling an election, board members will have to submit an application and feasibility study to the state coordinating board then request Wichita County commissioners to set the election for voters approval or denial.