Lockhart Annexation Proposal

Here’s what you need to know about the proposed annexation into the ACC District and what it means for residents who live within the territory of Lockhart Independent School District (ISD).

In May, the Austin Community College District (ACC) Board of Trustees unanimously certified a petition from residents who live within the territory covered by Lockhart ISD and are interested in putting ACC annexation on the General Election ballot this November. 

This community-led initiative gathered 1,013 petition signatures from voters, exceeding the required threshold of five percent of registered voters (744).

If Lockhart area voters approve the measure on the November ballot, the territory covered by Lockhart ISD will become part of the ACC district and residents will be eligible for all in-district benefits.

What Does Annexation Mean?

The Austin Community College District is a taxing entity. Residents of political subdivisions within the taxing district pay property taxes to fund ACC’s programs, services, and building infrastructure. If residents living within the Lockhart ISD territory approve annexation, they are eligible for the following:

In-district tuition. ACC’s in-district tuition rate is $85 per credit hour (out-of-district residents pay $286 per credit hour). This puts the cost of a two-year college degree at $5,100 for in-district residents as opposed to $17,160 for out-of-district residents.*

Other benefits include:

  • Access to ACC student support services, including advising, admissions and records, academic counseling, career counseling, financial aid, and student life.
  • Customized training to assist local businesses and organizations in their employee training and expansions.
  • Academic degrees for university transfer or Continuing Education workforce-certificate credentials in high-demand career fields such as welding, construction, HVAC, IT, health care, and dozens of other fields.
  • ACC support programs such as English-as-a Second Language (ESL), GED®, and Adult Basic Education offerings to prepare people for entering college credit or workforce programs.
  • Credit or noncredit entry-level, and reentry job-training programs at ACC that can be completed in one year or less.

* Costs based on a 60-credit-hour associate’s degree.

Residents will also get a voice in ACC governance. They can:

  • Vote in elections for the ACC governing Board of Trustees.
  • Run for a position on the ACC governing Board of Trustees.

ACC District Taxes and Exemptions

Under state law, the maximum property tax rate the Board may adopt is $0.59 per $100 assessed property valuation.

ACC’s current tax rate combines the maintenance and operation tax rate of $0.0854 plus its bond debt service of $0.0132, for a total of $.0986 per $100 assessed property valuation.  Additionally, the ACC Board of Trustees may not impose a maintenance and operations tax rate of more than $0.09 per $100 assessed property valuation without voter approval at a subsequent election.

Homestead, Seniors, and Disabled Residents Exemptions

Residents get a Homestead Exemption up to $5,000. Seniors and disabled residents receive an additional Homestead Exemption of $75,000, for a total of $80,000.

Tax Freeze for Seniors and Disabled residents

In addition to the $80,000 senior and disabled Homestead Exemption, seniors age 65+ and disabled residents would have their ACC tax levy frozen at the amount they pay the year they qualify for the exemption.

To learn more about ACC’s tax rate, please click here.

Tuition Rates and ACC’s Free Tuition Pilot Program

ACC’s college tuition rates have remained stable for the past 11 years. In-district residents pay $85 per credit hour. Out-of-district residents pay an additional $201 out-of-district fee, for a total of $286 per credit hour. 

If Lockhart ISD voters approve annexation in November 2024, then residents will be eligible for in-district tuition rates starting in January of 2025. 

Additionally, ACC’s Board of Trustees recently approved a five-year free tuition pilot program that goes into effect in fall 2024. All high school graduates who live in the Lockhart ISD territory and who graduate in spring 2024, as well as home school students who graduate in spring 2024 and GED® completers who received their credentials on or after July 1, 2023, will be eligible for ACC free tuition, should the annexation measure pass.

ACC Campus Plan for Lockhart

ACC’s proposed service plan for Lockhart ISD includes three phases of future campus development. 

Phase 1

ACC will provide services on Lockhart ISD property in the evenings and on weekends. These programs will include career and workforce development programs that are designed to help Lockhart residents upskill for in-demand jobs in the Central Texas region. 

ACC will also work with Lockhart ISD to support its development of an Early College High School (ECHS). ECHS and dual credit programs are designed so that high school students can graduate with an associate degree or workforce certificate as well as a high school diploma. 

Phase 2

ACC will work with community stakeholders to develop a 15,000-20,000 sq.ft. property located in close proximity to Lockhart High School as its first facility in the community.

Phase 3

ACC will purchase land to build a permanent facility that meets the needs of the local community based on collaborative input from local, economic, and educational leaders in the area.

Next Steps for Lockhart Annexation Proposal

The ACC Board of Trustees hosted a public hearing on June 25, 2024, at the Gerry Ohlendorf Performing Arts Center.

This first hearing went over annexation in more detail and also covered the proposed service plan. 

Check back here for additional events, such as community town halls and board of trustee meetings. 

In August, the ACC Board of Trustees will place the annexation question on the November ballot. Voters within the territory of Lockhart ISD will then have the opportunity to vote on annexation in the November election. 

For more information about annexation and ACC, visit the ACC Annexation page.

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