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FAQ: Bingham County’s Inclusion in the CEI District

The following was provided from Bingham County Republican Party Chairman Dan Craven:

We believe being annexed into the College of Eastern Idaho’s community college district would be beneficial to our local community for the following reasons:

Being a member of the CEI district will save Bingham County tax payers a significant amount of money when compared to the current taxing structure related counties outside of a community college district. Due to Idaho Code in 2017 Bingham County paid $126,400 in out of district fees to community colleges in Idaho other than CEI. (Note: Some of this $126,400 will be reimbursed by the state’s fund for dual enrollment credit courses.) The out of district fees paid to CEI in 2017, will likely be in excess of the out of district fees paid to other community colleges by Bingham County. This amount will grow rapidly as enrollment in CEI expands. If Bingham County joins the CEI District the tax burden on the county’s property owners will be a total of $282,100 per year. (Based off an annual levy of $15 per $100,000 of assessed value. State law allows this levy to be increased only 3 percent per year, unless voter approval is obtained.) The average Bingham County homeowner, due to the homeowner’s exemption, will pay about $11-12 per year if the county joins the CEI district. After 2017 out of district fees paid to CEI and other Idaho community colleges will exceed the amount paid by property owners in taxes the if the county were to join the CEI district. Bingham County will no longer be required to pay out of district fees to paid to CEI and other Idaho community colleges if the county joins CEI’s district. Bottom Line: the taxpayers will save money by joining the CEI district due to the elimination of out of district fees. CEI will expand access to dual credits for local high school students and vocational programs for those in need of career skills greatly enriching the education of our local students and allowing students to not only to graduate high school with a diploma, but with their associate degree. — CEI will offer courses and have a campus in our county. CEI’s cost of obtaining a two-year degree at a community college is estimated to be one-third the cost of attending ISU and 20% less than attending BYU-Idaho making it more affordable. — CEI is able to serve almost five times as many of the students that EITC previously served with its existing campus and buildings. CEI district will be governed by a locally elected Board of Trustees who will set strategy and programs based on the needs of the Eastern Idaho region, and our county. CEI continues to offer the technical programs that were previously offered. CEI is able to offer two-year degrees allowing students to easily transfer their credits to other colleges and universities. CEI has the opportunity to train more students in East Idaho that could potentially attract employers to a highly skilled work force making the community college a significant asset for attracting new businesses and providing more high paying jobs to Bingham County, and the area.

Also, attached is a statement from the Shelley School District Board who supports the community college district’s inclusion of Bingham County.

Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter released the following statement:

“There are few better investments in life than a good education. Opting to join with the College of Eastern Idaho not only makes financial sense for Bingham County taxpayers and students; it also is a commonsense decision that will help stimulate and sustain the area’s economy. More accessible and affordable education beyond high school is in the best interest of all Idahoans, so I encourage Bingham County voters to say ‘Yes’ to this exciting opportunity.”

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