19 dis­tricts ask vot­ers for higher mil­lages

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - NORTHWEST ARKANSAS - KEN­NETH HEARD

At least 19 Arkansas school dis­tricts are seek­ing mill­age in­creases Tues­day that will help among other things fund con­struc­tion projects and raise salaries.

The Har­ris­burg School District in Poin­sett County is try­ing for a third time to equal­ize its mill­age rate with that of the for­mer Weiner School District, which merged with Har­ris­burg in 2011.

Sev­eral schools have pro­posed to build new high schools, tak­ing ad­van­tage of the Arkansas Aca­demic Fa­cil­i­ties Part­ner­ship Pro­gram that al­lo­cates a per­cent­age

of avail­able fund­ing for dis­tricts that pass mil­lages.

“I think a lot of people are afraid that fund­ing will go away in the fu­ture,” Ber­ryville Su­per­in­ten­dent Owen Pow­ell said. “There’s never a good time to ask for a mill­age in­crease — no­body likes taxes — but we have a good rea­son to ask for one. We have a big need, and we have ad­di­tional fund­ing.”

Ber­ryville seeks a 4.45-mill in­crease to fund a $24 mil­lion project that will in­clude build­ing a new high school, a per­form­ing arts cen­ter, and cafe­te­rias and media cen­ters at its high school and mid­dle schools.

A mill is one-tenth of a cent. Each mill is charged against each dol­lar of as­sessed prop­erty value and would there­fore pro­duce $1 of tax for each $1,000 of val­u­a­tion.

Coun­ties as­sess prop­erty at 20 per­cent of its ap­praised value, mean­ing a $100,000 home has a tax­able value of $20,000. One mill levied on an as­sessed value of $20,000 yields $20 in prop­erty taxes.

De Queen School District vot­ers are be­ing asked to pass a 4.9-mill in­crease to fund a $13 mil­lion to $14 mil­lion new high school.

Su­per­in­ten­dent Bruce Hill said his district will re­ceive about $1.7 mil­lion from the Arkansas Aca­demic Fa­cil­i­ties Part­ner­ship Pro­gram, and had the state given more he would not have asked for as high a mill­age.

De Queen’s cur­rent mill­age rate of 27.3 mills is the low­est in the state.

“If the state would have given us more, we’d only need to ask for 1.2 mills,” Hill said.

The district asked for a higher mill­age last year in hopes of fund­ing mul­ti­ple projects. When vot­ers turned it down over­whelm­ingly, Hill scaled the pro­posal down to build­ing only a new high school.

“We un­der­stand people don’t like taxes, but we have a need,” he said.

The schools seek­ing mill­age in­creases or equal­iza­tion and the projects they hope to fund are:

■ Boone County — Val­ley Springs School District, 7.1-mill in­crease, from 32.8 mills to 39.9 mills for con­struc­tion of a 20,000-square­foot high school build­ing.

■ Car­roll County — Ber­ryville School District, 4.45-mill in­crease, from 38.05 mills to 42.5 mills for con­struc­tion of a 98,000-square­foot high school build­ing, and a cafe­te­ria and media cen­ter for the high school and mid­dle school.

■ Cle­burne County — He­ber Springs School District, 3.6-mill in­crease, from 32.8 mills to 36.4 mills for salaries and ben­e­fits for school fac­ulty and staff mem­bers.

■ Columbia County — Mag­no­lia School Board, 3.4-mill in­crease, from 29.6 mills to 33 mills for con­struc­tion of a high school per­form­ing arts cen­ter, health cen­ter at Central El­e­men­tary and resur­fac­ing of park­ing lot. ■ De­sha County — Du­mas School District, 3-mill in­crease, from 39 to 42 mills for new main­te­nance and op­er­a­tion.

■ Faulkner County — Vilo­nia School District, 5.7-mill in­crease, from 39.9 mills to 45.6 mills for con­struc­tion of sev­eral projects, in­clud­ing a new au­di­to­rium and ex­pan­sion of the cafe­te­ria.

■ Gar­land County — Cut­ter Morn­ing Star School District, 8.4-mill in­crease, from 40.5 mills to 48.9 mills for con­struc­tion of a high school.

■ Grant County — Baux­ite School District, 3.6-mill in­crease, from 38.6 mills to 42.2 mills for con­struc­tion of an aca­demic build­ing at the high school and ad­di­tion of four class­rooms to Pine Haven El­e­men­tary School.

■ Greene County — Greene County Tech, 4-mill in­crease, from 37.49 mills to 41.49 mills for main­te­nance and op­er­a­tions, and new debt ser­vice. ■ Hot Spring County — Malvern School District, 3.49-mill in­crease, from 37.65 mills to 41.14 mills for ren­o­va­tions to high school cam­pus.

■ Jack­son County — Jack­son County School District, 3-mill in­crease, from 33 mills to 36 mills for gen­eral re­pairs to build­ings and play­grounds on cam­puses, ad­di­tion of air-con­di­tion­ing and heat­ing to field house, new roof on mid­dle school build­ing.

■ John­son County — La­mar School District, 4.65-mill in­crease, from 35.33 mills to 39.98 mills for con­struc­tion of a new high school.

■ Lin­coln County — Star City School District, 1.75-mill in­crease, from 37 mills to 38.75 mills for im­prove­ments to el­e­men­tary school, a new gym­na­sium, teacher salaries. ■ Lit­tle River County — Ash­down School District, 3.9-mill in­crease, from 35.7 mills to 39.6 mills for con­struc­tion of a new high school.

■ Mon­roe County — Claren­don School District, 3.5-mill in­crease, from 35.9 mills to 39.4 mills for con­struc­tion of a gym­na­sium.

■ Perry County — Per­ryville School District, 2.7-mill in­crease, from 34.98 mills to 37.68 mills for con­struc­tion of a new cafe­te­ria.

■ Poin­sett County — Har­ris­burg School District, 4.4-mill in­crease, from 35.5 mills to 39.9 mills to equal­ize mill­age rate with the rate in the for­mer Weiner School District, which merged with Har­ris­burg in 2011.

Marked Tree School District, 6-mill in­crease, from 33.5 mills to 39.5 mills for con­struc­tion of new wings on el­e­men­tary and high school build­ings, ren­o­va­tions to cafe­te­rias.

■ Se­vier County — De Queen School District, 4.9-mill in­crease, from 27.3 mills to 32.2 mills for con­struc­tion of a new high school.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.