Governor Tom Vilsack’s again asking lawmakers to give local community college trustees the authority to raise local property taxes to make up for budget shortfalls. Vilsack says if the move’s not made, Iowa community college tuition will be the highest in the nation.Republican legislators say they aren’t interested in raising property taxes. Vilsack rejects that argument. Vilsack says it’s not a decision to raise taxes, he says it gives local people a choice to raise tuition or provide additional local support. Vilsack says the decision on whether to raise taxes will be up to local community college trustees, not legislators.Community colleges will get about 14-and-a-half million dollars less from the state in the next fiscal year. Vilsack says that means courses will be cut and tuition will go up. House Republican Leader Christopher Rants of Sioux City says the proposal takes the decision out of the hands of the people who’ll be paying the bill. He says the governor’s proposal raises property taxes without giving taxpayers any say. Rants says people are tired of rising property taxes.
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