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TO THE EDITOR:

Local tax, especially for education and Texarkana College, is not our enemy. In light of the recent proposed five dollar a year tax increase I've heard a lot of grumbling from friends and neighbors. All of my life I've said and heard conservative friends say that they are for a 'hand up, not a hand out." The $128 (based on a 100k home) a year tax we pay to Texarkana college is what a hand up looks and feels like. Are we just giving these words lip service or do we really mean it? 100% of the tax we pay to Texarkana college stays here. It helps pay a local educators salary and they in turn purchase goods and services from us. As an added bonus they help a kid or adult starting over obtain marketable skills and vocations so that they can be productive members of our community.

Kids in Bowie County have the opportunity to get valuable dual credit classes at a deep discount through Texarkana College. The cost of attending an in state public college is $18,000 a year. Both of my kids benefited greatly from the services Texarkana College provides. I figure TC saved me around $50,000 in tuition and living expenses. At $128 a year I will never repay what I owe them for providing this valuable service. The five dollar increase they are asking for isn't for a dome stadium or a private jet. It's to repay and service debt on the money they had to spend to get the campus compliant and meet the needs of people with disabilities. Cost for operating a business, home, or yes even a college in general don't go down, they go up. That's why most of our salaries and even Social Security benefits have a COLA or cost of living adjustment.

Often I hear people say "why can't the college just fund their cost with tuition?" The University of Texas doesn't, neither does Texas A&M. If you want the college funded with just tuition payments you are essentially saying you want a private community college. If state schools were not subsidized by our tax dollars the cost would be double. That's a high barrier to entry that prices most workers in Bowie County out of the market. I am willing to help my fellow man who is willing to work to better himself. Texarkana College gives me the opportunity to do just that.

Brett McClaran

Texarkana, Texas

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