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Northeast Technology Center Proposes Property Tax Rate Hike to Fund School Improvements

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AFTON, OKLAHOMA -

Students at the Northeast Technology Center head back to school, to learn in classrooms originally built in the seventies, which school officials say are in major need of a facelift.

"The problem is we can't keep pace with the needs. We're a technology center. We need to be using the most up to date technology we have and the best facilities that we can provide to our students and with funding at a limited level we can only do a little bit at a little bit of a time,” says  NTC Communications Coordinator Tara Thompson.

The district which covers five counties and supports 2,500 full time students, is proposing a millage rate increase from 1 to 3 mils, still below the statewide average, to fund campus improvements. 

“What will take about 9 years under the millage we currently have… once we pass this millage it will cut it down to two to three years that we will get back on this campus and be able to do some more work,” says Afton Campus Director and NTC Assistant Superintendent Paul Hocutt.

School officials estimate it costs around one million dollars to renovate an existing building or to add on a new one like this cosmetology building, students will take advantage of for the first time this year.

"This is an investment. Yes, it will require an increase in someone's property taxes but were looking at only a $20 dollar increase annually on a home valued at $100,000. It's not that much and the results are marvelous,” says Thompson.

Unlike a school bond, if the property tax rate increase is passed on November 10th the funds won't expire, and will help fast track renovations on the NTC’s long term plan, cut down year long waiting lists for popular programs, and expand class sizes.

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