Highland Community College Board of Trustees approves budget

FREEPORT   Highland Community College Trustees approved the permanent fiscal year 2016 budget on Tuesday, September 15, during the regular meeting of the Board of Trustees.

The Operating Funds budget, which comprises instruction, student services, administration, and operations and maintenance of buildings and grounds amounts to $14.2 million in revenues and $14.5 million in expenses for fiscal year 2016. The majority of the operating budget comprises instruction and services that directly impact students.

The College continues to face challenges in relation to the main operating revenue sources, which are projected to fall short of expenditures by approximately $300,000. The College will utilize the fund balance, or reserves, in the Operating Funds to offset the shortfall. The fund balance is expected to remain at levels recommended by the Illinois Community College Board of at least 20 percent of expenditures.

"Our main sources of revenue in the operating funds are state funding, student tuition and fees, and local property taxes," said Jill Janssen, vice-president of administrative services. "State funding is expected to be less than last year, however, we don’t have definite information due to the state budget impasse."

"Overall, local sources make up 44 percent of our budget, tuition and fees make up 37 percent, and state funding makes up about 10 percent," Janssen added. State funding has decline by $1.1 million over the past 10 years.

Janssen also said district-wide assessed valuation is estimated to increase slightly for the upcoming tax year, resulting in about one percent more property tax revenue than received in the prior year. Overall, the College is budgeting a slight increase in operating revenue from the actual fiscal year 2015 level.

The College's fiscal year 2016 budget may result in an increase in the overall tax rate of approximately two cents per one hundred dollars of assessed valuation in order to implement a Protection, Health, and Safety project to upgrade the building automation systems to improve efficiency and air quality in campus centers.

The state still owes the College about $116,000 from last year's unrestricted funding allocations. The restricted grants are paid in full.

2998 W. Pearl City Road
Freeport, IL 61032-9341

Fax 815-235-6130

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