FAIRBURY – Many concerned farmers and local residents attended the Southeast Community College Bond Issue information session held on Thursday afternoon.
SCC’s plan to implement a $369 Million Bond Issue toward renovations and additions to SCC Campuses would impact property taxes, something that isn’t sitting well with local farmers.
Beatrice Campus Director Bob Morgan presented the proposed projects which included replacement and renovations on the Beatrice campus to support specific programs such as Agriculture, Health Sciences, Business, Career Academy, and Academic Transfer.
SCC also has plans to renovate most facilities on the Milford Campus, renovate the 8800 O Street Lincoln Campus, and establish a new campus near downtown Lincoln.
Nebraska Farm Bureau Economist Jay Rempe attended the session and spoke with farmers afterwards. Rempe announced to farmers that Nebraska Farm Bureau has opted to oppose the issue, starting their own website expressing their concerns.
Rempe tells News Channel Nebraska, “The reason that we are concerned about the SCC Bond Issue, we’re certainly supportive of education and the programs that Southeast Community College provides in the Ag Campus, but farmers and ranchers across the state are very worried property taxes…and this Bond Issue of $369 million will be paid solely on property taxes. Agriculture is going to carry a big part of that, and given today’s Ag Economy, and the prices that farmers and ranchers are receiving, it’s just another expense that they can’t afford right now. “
Rempe says, “Our calculations show that it would increase the property taxes like $1.31 – I think on every acre of Ag land in the area. When you look at, over the 25 year period, that’s over a $12 million increase property taxes that farmers would pay in Jefferson County.”