Riedel: LBWCC won’t seek new taxes

Published 11:59 pm Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Regardless of whether the county commission passes an extra 1-cent sales tax increase for education next Monday, Lurleen B. Wallace Community College president Dr. Herb Riedel said Wednesday that the college would not be asking for any additional funding.

Covington County’s three school systems are expected to ask for a 1-cent tax increase for education at the commission’s Mon., Nov. 9, meeting.

Riedel said that currently LBWCC gets “significant funding” from county sales taxes.

He explained that LBWCC receives 2.45 percent of the 2-cent county sales tax currently collected. The county’s three school systems receive 53.45 percent and the county receives 44.1 percent. Riedel said the college’s allocation amounted to about $191,000 last year.

“This allocation has been fixed by state legislation since 1986,” Riedel said. “The funding we currently get from the county is rather significant, and we’re very appreciative of it.”

Riedel said the 1-cent increase currently being discussed would be divided among the three school systems and the county. LBWCC would not receive any additional funding from the proposed increase.

“This increase would not affect LBW’s funding,” he said. “We’re not requesting any new taxes or funding, we just want to keep what we have.

“I guess you can say that LBW doesn’t really have a dog in this particular fight.”

Riedel said the college’s budget this year, after proration, is roughly $12.5 million. Although the $191,000 from county sales tax may not seem like much, he said it is greatly appreciated.