Voters to weigh in on Blackhawk Tech College budget - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Voters to weigh in on Blackhawk Tech College budget

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JANESVILLE (WKOW)-- On Tuesday voters head to the polls for the primary election and in Green and Rock Counties, they will have the chance to weigh in on an increase in the budget at Blackhawk Technical College.

Typical tech college referendums seek funding for a specific project, like a new building, but the Blackhawk is asking voters to permanently increase the amount of local funding for the operational budget by $4 million.

"We were frozen in 2011 so that we are still operating off the same amount of money that we received in 2010," said Thomas Eckert, the president of Blackhawk Technical College.

President Eckert says property taxes will decline even if the referendum passes thanks to new legislation designating $406 million to tech schools.

"That's not new money, it's just money that replaced money that we normally would have got from property taxes," Eckert said.

That means if the referendum passes, taxes paid to Blackhawk on a $100,000 would drop by $51 a year. If the measure fails, those taxes would decline about $88 dollars on a $100,000 home.

The additional operating funds would go toward hiring more staff and expanding popular programs, like manufacturing.

"This is really about growth opportunity for people to get the education they need and fill the jobs that are often going unfilled," Eckert said.

If voters approve the budget increase, Blackhawk hopes to add another 1000 students over the next five years.

Tuesday's ballot is double-sided and the Blackhawk referendum is on the back side.

 

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