Cortland County Legislature approves TC3 budget, tuition increase

CORTLAND, N.Y. — The Cortland County Legislature voted this morning to contribute $1.7 million to the 2016-2017 operating budget of Tompkins Cortland Community College.

The dollar amount remains unchanged from the county’s 2015-2016 contribution. Pending approval from Tompkins legislators, the college will receive an additional $2.9 million from Tompkins County. The contributions from Tompkins and Cortland counties make up 11.4 percent of the college’s 2016-2017 operating budget.

Under the proposed budget, students would see a $140 increase in full-time tuition to $4,790 per year, an increase of roughly 3 percent.

While college officials did not request a funding increase from last year, legislator Linda Jones expressed concerns about the college’s ability to balance its budget.

“I do have concerns that your budget is 5.7 percent higher than last year, and that you’re taking $95,000 out of the general fund to balance it,” Jones said. “There has to come a point when the college finds a way to keep their operating costs more steady, because this is an overtaxed county.”

TC3 President Carl Haynes explained that once the college accounts for increased enrollment, the real budget increase amounts to 3.1 percent.

Legislators voted 11-0 to approve the college’s $41.6 million spending plan. Six legislators were not present at the meeting, including Luke Snyder, Gordon Wheelock, Christopher Newell, Sandra Price, George Wagner and James Denkenberger.