The Iowa Western Community College Board of Trustees on Monday approved a preliminary budget for 2022-23 that would set spending limits at $61,039,326 for the general fund, $26,503,117 for the physical plant and $5,737,282 for the bond and interest fund, according to Eddie Holtz, vice president of finance.
The budget will now be published, and a public hearing will be held on it during the trustees meeting on March 14.
The budget would result in a property tax levy of $1.37785 per $1,000 of taxable valuation, Holtz said, which would be a decrease of 8.023 cents from its current level of $1.45808 per $1,000 of taxable valuation. Revenue would also be boosted by a 5.6% increase in the college’s tax base, continuing a 15-year upward trend, he said. The preliminary budget is based on an assumption that enrollment will be basically flat.
Still, the board may need to increase tuition by $7 per credit hour, but that will not be decided until May, he said. If enacted, the boost would put Iowa Western’s tuition rate at $194 per credit hour. Currently, the average rate among Iowa’s community colleges is $184.85 — but the other colleges have not set their rates for 2022-23 yet, either. Community colleges are still waiting for the Iowa Legislature to decide on a funding level for them for next year.
Iowa Western did not increase tuition for the 2021-22 academic year, because it used COVID-19 relief money to offset what would have been a $7 bump.
Most of Iowa Western’s revenue — 59% — comes from tuition and fees, according to a chart Holtz displayed during the board meeting. State funding accounts for about 32%. The remainder is 5% from local support, 1% from federal funding and 3% from other sources.
The board also approved a New Jobs Training Agreement for $2 million in New Jobs Training Certificates, Series 2022, for a training agreement with Pella Corporation. The college will provide training for 178 new employees at the company’s Shenandoah plant, 150 of whom have already been hired, according to Starlyn Perdue, director of economic development at Iowa Western. Some of the openings are being filled with employees from Pella’s Indiana plants.
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