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Commissioners to address PJC’s proposed expansion Monday at 9 a.m.

in Lamar County/Paris Junior College by

Lamar County Commissioners will meet Monday, Oct. 10 at 9 a.m. to discuss a possible resolution supporting Paris Junior College’s expansion of its taxing district to include all of Lamar County.

PJC’s tax district is currently limited to the Paris city limits and the old Cunningham school district, a small area in the southeastern part of the county.

Community colleges rely mainly on property taxes from their district, tuition/fees, and funds from the state to operate, and PJC has one of the smallest tax districts out of the 50 community colleges in the state.

In a recent interview with KETR, PJC President Dr. Pamela Anglin said tuition is right at the state average.

“If you look at the surrounding community colleges, we have some (where) tuition is lower than ours. So there is that point that we really can’t go any higher,” Anglin said.

The clearest benefit from voting yes would be the decrease in tuition for residents in the county.

Those who live in the county could expect to add $85 a year to thier property taxes for every $100,000 their home is valued at.

At the same time, however, tuition would drop from $100 per credit hour to the in-district rate of $55 per credit hour, ideally making PJC more affordable to Lamar County residents.

What that looks like on paper

Students from outside the tax district pay $300 in tuition for a 3 semester credit hour course while in-district students pay $165 for the same course, based on literature provided by PJC.

According to an economic impact study completed by Economic Modeling Specialists International in 2014, Paris Junior College employed 485 people in 2012-13. During this same time, enrolled more than 10,000 students in total.

Commissioner’s Court is a public meeting, and therefore the public can come to express their opinions on any agenda items or other county issues.

Citizens of Lamar County can voice their support or concerns by attending at 9 a.m. or calling their commissioners. Contact information can be found here, and you can determine which precinct you reside in by using this map.

For background reading, click through to the following articles:

  1. PJC’s 2015 report (Paris Junior College)
  2. PJC Fact Sheet Summer 2016 (Paris Junior College)
  3. PJC’s annexation fact sheet (Paris Junior College)
  4. PJC eyes taxing district election (Herald Banner July 2016)
  5. New Paris Junior College taxing district?  (KSST July 2016)
  6. Anglin: PJC threatened if tax district vote fails (Herald Banner August 2016)
  7. PJC Tax Annexation Interview with Dr. Pam Anglin (KSST August 2016)
  8. PJC’s new proposed tax rate is confusing (Sulphur Springs News Telegram September 2016)
  9. Voters to decide on PJC property tax question (KETR September 2016)

Also on the agenda:

  • Receive an update on repairs to Lamar County Courthouse and county property
  • Public hearing and decision on 2016-17 annual county clerk records management and archive plan that will call for the continuation of a $10 filing fee
  • Allowing Reverend Rodney C. Slaughter and other community leaders to use courthouse parking lot to conduct a “Community Revival” to promote peace, understanding, and good will in our area
  • A potential contract with RWCS Janitorial Services
  • A potential contract with Northweast Texas Pest Control
  • Line-item transfers for various county offices

Colton is the founder of Paris Free Press. He was born and raised in Paris, Texas, graduated from North Lamar ISD and Paris Junior College with an Associate Degree. He lives in Lamar County with his loving girlfriend and their three dogs and two cats. He has once been uncredited in The Paris News.

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