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DMACC President seeking support in levy renewals

Published: Friday, Aug. 30, 2013 11:01 a.m. CST • Updated: Friday, Aug. 30, 2013 11:29 a.m. CST
(Ty Rushing/Newton Daily News)
The DMACC Newton Campus Career Academy opened in 2009 and was funded through the levies the college is seeking to renew

One issue being overlooked on the Sept. 10 school board election ballot is the renewal of the two property tax levies that fund DMACC.

The Plant Fund Levy is 20¼ cents per $1,000, and the Equipment Levy 6 cents per $1,000. The two levies are not new taxes and are currently in use. Both taxes are used to help with operations, maintenance and keeping training equipment current with industry standards.

DMACC President Rob Denson has urged citizens to vote in favor of the renewal.

“These are not new taxes and are not a property tax increase, but a continuation of the same levies that have been in place for many years, one since 1968 and the other since 2005,” Denson said. “Critical to the future of DMACC, these levies represent a small investment for Central Iowans. For the typical home owner who has a home assessed at $135,000, the cost for both levies is less than a gallon of gas — about $3.25 a month.

“That’s probably the best bargain one will find anywhere,” he continued. “Currently, DMACC has the lowest property tax assessment of all 15 community colleges in Iowa, generally less than 3 percent of anyone’s entire property tax bill. It’s a small price to pay to maintain a quality post-secondary educational institution like DMACC.”

DMACC, which recently opened a new center at the Southridge Mall in Des Moines, said these taxes are essential to its continued growth, maintaining low costs, and providing Central Iowans educational opportunities.

Of Iowa’s 15 community colleges, DMACC has the lowest property tax assessment rate and the second lowest tuition in the state.

Denson also stated several reasons to support the renewal of the levies.

“DMACC is a significant provider of the high quality training Central Iowa companies and communities need to keep their workforce current, working directly with local businesses to meet specific industry needs,” Denson said.

Most recently on the Newton campus, the DMACC Career Academy opened in 2009 and the campus started offering an RN program this semester.

“Nearly all Central Iowa companies rely on DMACC to grow and maintain a skilled workforce,” Denson said. “DMACC will continue to deliver the quality services on which our local communities depend. I have the privilege to meet and talk with DMACC graduates each year as they walk across the stage to receive their college degree. DMACC makes a significant difference in their lives.”

Staff writer Ty Rushing may be contacted at (641) 792-3121, ext. 426, or at trushing@newtondailynews.com.

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