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A Message from Our Chairman To the Triton College Community: Each year, as winter winds its way down (thankfully!) and spring approaches, our property tax bills arrive in the mail. With the extremely harsh weather this winter has brought, the arrival of our tax bills is one more harsh reality we have to deal with. We at Triton College understand that, while our economy has seen some slight improvement, there is still a long way to go before we can say that we’ve experienced economic recovery. Your Triton College Board realizes this, and we’ve been vigilant in our efforts to be efficient with your tax dollars. As a matter of fact, the Board last year abated over $2.4 million dollars in property taxes to allow our district residents to keep more of their hard-earned dollars. While on the subject of property taxes, I’d like to try to explain a portion of the tax bill that I think may be misleading, at least in regards to the Triton College portion. This year, the Cook County Treasurer has printed information regarding each taxing body’s respective debt on the tax bill. I have included in the lower-right corner an actual copy of my tax bill for you to easily reference. Highlighted are the Triton College line items showing 1. Money Owed by Your Taxing District, 2. Pension and Healthcare Amounts Promised by Your Taxing Districts, 3. Amount of Pension and Healthcare Shortage and finally, 4. % of Pension and Healthcare Costs Taxing Districts Can Pay. Let me begin with the “Money Owed” column, showing $15,911,890 “owed” by Triton College. What does this really mean? If someone were to ask you how much debt you had or how much you owed, you’d probably mention your total mortgage amount due on your home, your total amount due on your car loan, your total amount due on your credit cards, or any bills you had that were past due. You probably wouldn’t think of future bills that you haven’t received or an electric bill that you have just received, but isn’t due for three weeks as being money you “owed,” especially if you knew that you had the money in your account to pay the bill once you received it. With this thought in mind, let’s analyze the $15,911,890 that your tax bill indicates that Triton “owes.” The largest part of this “debt” is approximately $5.4 million (34%) in “prepaid tuition.” This means that students have paid for classes that have not yet been completed. Is this “debt?” In the everyday meaning of the word, clearly it is not. The students will finish the classes and Triton’s “debt” will have been paid. Next, $3.3 million (21%) is for bills that the College had on the date that the Treasurer’s Office collected the information. They were processed for payment but the actual checks had not been issued. Since that time, checks have been issued and the bills paid. To clarify, if the electric bill for the College was received on June 29th and was due on July 20th, the amount of that bill, and others like it, are included in this “debt” amount. Two million dollars (13%) is for leasing computers and other technology equipment, primarily for our students’ use in the classroom. As anyone knows who has “upgraded” their personal cell phone or computer, our modern devices quickly become outdated. Continued on Page 2

Page One: Volume 8, Issue 5 • January/February 2014

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