COM Sets Proposed Tax Rate
The College of the Mainland (COM) board of trustees voted unanimously to set the proposed 2022 tax rate during its regular Monday, August 23 meeting. Accordingly, the following fiscal measures should be noted for the upcoming 2021-2022 budget year:
Maintenance Tax Note Refinancing
During the May 1, 2021 election, voters within the COM taxing district approved refinancing the College’s 2017 maintenance notes to save an estimated $4 million in interest. Through this refinancing, the board of trustees now proposes a new, lowered maintenance and operations (M&O) tax rate of $0.1653 per $100 valuation. This is a decrease from last year’s maintenance & operations tax rate of $0.1867 per $100 valuation.
College of the Mainland will continue its streak as one of only three community colleges in the state to keep maintenance and operations below the no-new-revenue rate. Because of the lowered M&O rate, homeowners will pay less in taxes for operations this year than was paid last year.
2018 General Obligation Bond
In November 2018, voters agreed to invest in COM during the general obligation bond election, allowing the College to provide new programs and facilities to meet emerging workforce demands and forever change the landscape of the growing campus. We want to take a moment to remind taxpayers how this bond will impact your tax rate.
- Individuals will see a tax rate of $0.1024 per $100 valuation for interest and sinking (I&S) taxes. This rate remains below the $0.1172 per $100 valuation rate guaranteed during the 2018 bond election.
The proposed 2022 total property tax rate amount combining the M&O rate plus the I&S rate, is $0.2677 per $100 valuation. This rate reflects the College’s move to continue paying off the debt from these bonds. Based on the proposed 2022 total property tax rate, a homeowner with a property valued at $200,000 would pay a little more than $35 per month in property taxes to College of the Mainland after applying exemptions.
As a reminder, by voters approving the refinancing of the maintenance tax note during the May 2021 election, the proposed total tax rate is lower than it would have been had voters not approved the measure. Had the refinancing measure not been approved, the M&O rate would have been an estimated $0.1748 per $100 valuation instead of the $0.1653 per $100 valuation reflected above.
As an added fiscally responsible measure, the College plans to pay off these bonds early by making a prepayment of $1 million. Less than 1 cent of the tax rate would go toward prepaying the interest on the loan, ultimately saving almost $2.4 million over the life of the loan to benefit students and taxpayers alike.
The board is scheduled to vote to adopt the 2022 tax rate during the September 27, 2021, regular meeting.