Cape Fear Community College says they need to expand, but tax payers could end up underwriting a hefty bill for that growth. This morning, New Hanover County commissioners agreed to put a referendum on the November ballot, that, if passed, would give CFCC $149 million in bond money. Last year, Cape Fear Community College turned away nearly 1,000 perspective students. Now the college wants to be able to expand and accommodate our growing area, by adding three new buildings to its Wilmington campus. The request comes at a time when Cape Fear Community College is struggling to accommodate all of its students. Representatives from the college say with the economy the way it is now, many New Hanover County families want local and affordable access to higher education. The county commission approved the request to be on the election ballot in November. If citizens vote yes, that would mean a five cent property tax increase for the county. Commissioner Bill Kopp wanted to increase the sales tax instead, saying property tax payers have experienced enough increases already. "The community college is doing a great job in our county, and they need the space. It was just my opinion, with the economy the way it is now, that I felt a tax increase, although it would not be five cents the first second or third year, but the time when we sell the bonds, it will be five cents," said Kopp. If this passes in November, it will bring the county very close to being maxed out of funds. The loan will pay down each year, but in the case of an emergency, the county will have to find funds elsewhere. The new buildings would serve the need for three departments within the college -- Life Sciences, Advances and Emerging Technologies, and a General Studies building with labs, and additional classrooms.
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