Ranger College addresses misinformation about tax referendum vote


BROWNWOOD, Texas - Residents in three counties, including Brown County, will vote on a tax referendum to pay for expanding Ranger College in November.

But the school is pushing back this week against what they claim is misinformation about how much the expansion would cost taxpayers.

Ranger College has been saying since March that the new tax rate will be 11 cents per $100 valuation. If the new tax rate passes, a resident with a home valued at $100,000 will be paying $110 a year in taxes.

The school issued a press release Tuesday refuting claims that the new rate would be much higher if the referendum passes. According to Ranger College, the board of trustees will adopt the 11 cent rate in the new counties in August of 2018.

But some have claimed the rate would be 43 cents per $100 valuation, according to the press release. The confusion comes because that's what's on the November ballot.

Ranger College said the state law requires them to list the tax rate in Ranger, and not the lower proposed rate that residents in Brown, Erath, and Comanche counties would pay.

"It's very confusing, I'm confused about it." Barry Carter said. "The voters are confused about it."

Carter is the treasurer for Brown County Citizens Against Ranger Tax Annexation.

"We've got some serious concerns with the debt," Carter said. "We're concerned about the long-term tax rate, not just the initial tax rate."

Carter said a lot of people have been tainted by the process because "Ranger College has just inserted itself so much into this election."

"If people want to vote no, God bless them, vote no. But do so based on the facts," Justin Murphy, who supports Ranger College's expansion into Brownwood, said.

Murphy spent 24 years teaching at Howard Payne University and now teaches part-time for Tarleton State University. Murphy said people are against the tax referendum because it's new.

"Many people aren't willing to speak up and speak out because of the intensity of the opposition," Murphy said.

Election day is November 7.

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