On TSC bond issue

by Wm. Robert Johnston
4 September 2002

On September 15th Brownsville voters should reject the TSC bond issue. This is too great a financial burden on the community, particularly for such poorly selected priorities.

A nearly $100 million tax burden on this area means an average cost of $500 per person. This is not just a burden for property owners. Those that rent property will pay corresponding increases in rent. Businesses will have to raise the cost of goods and services.

And don't be misled as to who will mostly benefit. UTB/TSC students enjoy one of the lowest tuition and fee costs for students of any Texas institution. Should they have this benefit at the expense of one of the poorest cities in the nation? The city is considering reducing services rather than raise taxes; they must know something the TSC board doesn't.

Proponents of the issue bemoan UTB's poor academic services compared to other universities, but there is little in this proposal to change that. A $14 million recreation facility--funded by the community, but for student use only--is not an academic issue. They want millions for a larger library building and shorter registration lines. What about funds for library resources or classroom instruction?

In recent years the university has found money for attractive construction but still comes up short for classroom needs. The same planners that bring this referendum allocate less than one percent of the UTB budget for research. In short, UTB/TSC needs to show better stewardship before being granted a fraction of this sum.

The board has not been able to get such a grand sum from the legislature, and they have been barred from raising this much from students. Brownsville, go vote September 15th--or you'll be left with the bill!

© 2002, 2008 by Wm. Robert Johnston.
Last modified 27 January 2008.
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