SCC Bond worth millions is causing controversy

Posted By: Rachel Hofstra
rhofstra@klkntv.com

Southeast Community College has proposed a bond worth 369 million dollars.

It’s to improve the campus and it will help decrease the waiting list for different programs.

“What that led to is a number of proposed projects to modernizing SCC, really to address two issues in Southeast Nebraska and that’s a need to have a qualified workforce, we have a lack of qualified workers in many different areas. The second issue that we’re trying to address is the need to have an affordable option to higher education," said Dr. Paul Illich, President of Southeast Community College.

The bond would be paid for through your property taxes and this is where the controversy starts.

"When Nebraska tax payers are paying the 7th highest property tax rates in the nation and you ask farmers, homeowners, and businesses for additional property tax dollars out of their pockets it is important to demonstrate there is a need," said Terry Keebler with the Nebraska Farm Bureau.

A coalition made up of five Nebraska associations oppose the bond because they say it’ll raise property taxes to an unreasonable amount.

"Unfortunately this proposal is more like a five page Christmas wish list than it is a targeted detailed needs based ask, tax payers just can’t afford to be Santa Clause," said Keebler.

The SCC president says it will raise property taxes for a $100,000 home by $39 gradually over 10 years.

"I think farmers are really getting close to where they just can’t pay anymore," said Dennis Fujan with the Nebraska Soybean Association.

The school says having this bond is the only way they’re allowed to fund the project.

The vote will take place in 15 counties in Southeast Nebraska this November.

Details about the SCC project can be found here: https://www.southeast.edu/bondissue2016/
Details about the opposing coalition can be found here: http://www.voteno369.com/