Jul 10, 2024

Barton CC intends to remain revenue neutral, not raising taxes

Posted Jul 10, 2024 5:00 PM

Great Bend Post

Barton Community College Vice President of Administration Mark Dean presented two budget options at Tuesday’s Board of Trustees study session. The biggest difference between the two was that one provided a 5% increase to the salary budget to keep up with the market value and the other increases the salary budget by 2.5%.

Last year, the board approved a budget that anticipated collecting $506,000 more in tax dollars. For the 2025 budget, both options intend to remain revenue neutral, meaning the college will collect the same amount of tax dollars.

Despite a budget that plans for a $394,823 deficit, Dean recommended the budget containing a 5% bump in the salary fund.

"How long did we fight to get our employees to market value?" asked Dean. "A long time. We had 68 fulltime positions open in May of 2022. We had six or seven the following May after the board pulled everything up to market value. It was a huge step to do that. We're going to be playing catchup next year. We're going to see positions that are going to be sitting out there unfilled. That's my opinion."

By meeting the Revenue Neutral Rate (RNR), Barton anticipates collecting $9,574,623 in tax dollars in the 2025 budget with a 28.634 mill levy.

In order to provide the 5% salary budget increase, the budget option includes a reduction of 11 fulltime positions and approximately $650,000 in operational budget reductions.

"I asked for positions to begin with," said Dean. "Some departments said absolutely not, we can't give up a position but we can give up this much in operational budget. We cut out some of their professional development. We cut out student employment for a portion of that."

Along with local tax dollars, the fiscal year 2025 budget anticipates revenue of $12 million from tuition and $10 million in state aid.

The trustees will approve a budget at the next meeting on July 23. 

Listen below to the entire Barton Community College Board of Trustees study session from July 9, 2024.