Pulaski County voters will get to decide whether to allow a 1.9-mill property tax increase in a special election to provide additional funding for Pulaski Technical College. The two year college is seeking to create a tax district to generate approximately 11 million dollars in annual revenue.
The special election will be held Tuesday. The 1.9 mill increase would amount to about 38 dollars per 100,000 dollars of a property's assessed value.
Pulaski Tech’s President Dr. Margaret Ellibee says about 70 percent of the school’s students live in Pulaski County, where the tax district would be established if voters approve the measure.
The state's largest two-year college in the state, with approximately 10,000 students, is one of six in Arkansas not supported by a local tax, Ellibee says.
She notes that in addition to local millage property taxes funding K-12 institutions in the state, communities are seeing the need to extend educational support into higher education.
“When you're looking at that whole educational system, it's K through life now. And I think the stronger we have that system, the stronger our state will be.”
While considering the need for a requesting new funds from voters “we were looking at our services that we need to have for our students both right now anf in the future,” she says.
Ellibee says the new funds would go toward improving facilities in several areas of the college, including the advanced manufacturing program—which trains machinists and welders— providing better equipment and more space.
Pulaski Tech also wants to expand its community education programs and allow students the opportunity to seek mentorships with businesses moving in to Little Rock’s planned Technology Park.
If the millage increase is passed, Ellibee says Pulaski Tech students who live in Pulaski County will receive a discount on their tuition.