UPDATE: The first proposed millage increase in over 20 years was rejected by a wide margin. 75 percent of ballots cast were in opposition to increasing the property tax to finance a facilities overhaul.
9,568 votes were cast, amounting to 13.3 percent voter turnout. Only four of the 60 precincts in the PCSSD voted in favor of the millage tax. One precinct had an equal number supporting as opposing.
Voters in the Pulaski County Special School District are casting their ballots through 7:30 p.m. Tuesday to decide whether to raise property taxes to fund a $200 million facilities overhaul. The millage rate for the Pulaski County Special School District has remained flat since 1992.
The construction would include two new high schools, two elementary schools, and upgrades to 30 campuses in the 17,000 student school district.
Thiessa Gray cast her vote in opposition Tuesday afternoon at Wrightsville City Hall, southeast of Little Rock.
“I know that we need more schools built for the district but people like myself, I don’t have children in the district, and to raise my taxes…we’re really paying too much,” said Gray.
The increase of 5.6 mills, to 46.3 mills, would still be lower than the Little Rock and North Little Rock school districts tax rates. The cost to the owner of a $100,000 home is roughly $112 dollars a year. Proponents of the property tax increase say it will help take the PCSSD out of court ordered desegregation monitoring over disparities in facilities.
The last millage increase passed by wide margins over two decades ago throughout the county and at the Wrightsville precinct. PCSSD officials say the current proposal would raise approximately $12 million a year and support 30 years of construction bonds.