Ranger College collects enough signatures for Brown County November tax referendum


BROWNWOOD, Texas - Ranger College has collected enough signatures in Brown County to put its tax referendum before voters in November.

The school is looking to expand in the county and would do that by renovating the old Bank of America building in downtown Brownwood to house its new campus.

Ranger College President Dr. Bill Campion described the project as a renewal of the city's downtown area.

If voters approve the tax referendum, a property owner with a home valued at $100,000 will pay $110 more each year in property taxes.

Voters in Eastland County approved a $10 million bond referendum last year allowing Ranger College to expand.

Campion said only Eastland County voters will pay off that debt and not those living in Brown County.

"We're going to do the accounting separately, and what's done in Eastland County will just be done for Eastland County," Campion said.

The school's Brown County Debt Service plan states seniors over 65, and their surviving spouses, will get a $5,000 exemption on the valuation of their property.

"It's like they're offering a $5,000 reduction in value before the tax," Brown County Chief Appraiser Brett McKibbon said. "So that means, if you're over 65 now, your taxes can fluctuate."

Brown County residents over 65 can currently apply for a homestead freeze. It allows property taxes to stay fixed, even if the value of their property goes up.

Ranger College's tax wouldn't work that way. How much seniors pay in taxes to Ranger College will be determined by the value of their property for that year.

Brown County residents will get to vote on the school's expansion on Nov. 7.

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