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Your Views: Don’t support Blackhawk Technical College’s irreversible tax increase

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August 5, 2014

The Blackhawk Technical College Board has asked for an additional $4 million from taxpayers for operational costs every year, permanently. In other words, this appointed board is asking to take, out of our disposable incomes, $40 million over 10 years and $80 million over 20 years. That’s a hit for any economy, especially the parts of Rock and Green counties that pay property taxes to the college.

Voters could decide, after some years, the extra tax money being collected isn’t being used wisely by the college. Or, that trained workers aren’t being provided as promised. Voters will have no recourse because the board isn’t elected. It would be impossible to vote out the board. Reversing such a tax increase would be like trying to stop another Cubs’ losing season.

Enrollment is declining at Blackhawk, and Wisconsin is graduating fewer high school seniors. When needs are down, administration levels should be reviewed and plans for new campuses postponed.

Perhaps the Blackhawk board should go back to the consulting firm it hired, and say, “Let’s use the $12.7 million coming in state taxpayer aid and make it work.” After that, if extra funds are still needed, the board could request an increase with a sunset clause.

Right now, we need our roads repaired, and we’ll be paying for many other upcoming basic infrastructure repairs. Most of us can only handle so much in increased taxes. We should vote “no” to Blackhawk Tech’s irreversible tax increase.

RICK RICHARD

Rock County Board supervisor

Janesville



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