First town hall meeting discussing proposed millage extension gets heated

Local News

JACKSONVILLE, Ark. — The Jacksonville North Pulaski School District is asking voters to extend a current millage tax. 

The original 7.6 mills were approved when the district formed in 2016.

According to officials at the meeting, the extension would keep the tax going through 2054.

One by one, those living in the JNPSD zone voiced their opinions on the proposed millage extension.

Some for.

“You don’t have a heart for children if you want to stop this millage.”

Some against. 

“I thought the first millage proved that everybody was for the kids to begin with.”

“There is no way on earth that I will vote for this extension.” 

A panel made up of the school attorney, superintendent, fiscal agent and school board members fielded questions for about 2 hours.

“If the millage isn’t extended then the district can’t afford the payments in order to build all the facilities,” the one-panel member said. 

The district’s attorney says under court order, to stay out of “facilities distress”, they need to build 3 new elementary schools and 1 middle school. 

This comes after the district has spent about 90 million dollars on the new high school, elementary school and two multipurpose facilities in the last 3 years.

Instead of raising taxes or cutting all non-essential school programming, the district is asking for the extension. 

“Sixty million dollars. That’s 14,000 dollars per child that’s registered,” one concerned resident said. 

While the district says it’s worked to find the best way to fund the improvements, not the largest, but certainly the most vocal group at the meeting says, the district hasn’t yet made the grade. 

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