The WNCC Board of Governors approved their fiscal 2016-17 budget Wednesday afternoon, but not before members of the agricultural community said they could not handle an over six percent hike in property tax asking from the college.
The budget itself increased by a small amount and the mill levy remained the same at just over ten cents, but with increases in valuation around the WNCC District the property tax request will go up $783,000.
Farmer Allan Kreman of rural Bayard says agriculture is paying a disproportionate amount of the expense for schools and local government, emphasizing he is already billed $28,000 in taxes for his property.
Accountant and ag producer Terry Jessen urged the college board to reduce expenses by as much as ten percent, lower the mill levy, or even use what he maintained was $17 million in reserves to eliminate the property tax request for one year. Jessen said the Board’s approval of the budget as presented was “a great disappointment to agriculture.”