Millage rate to stay the same with continuation to support school renovations and projects.
The Highland School District is requesting a 5.0 mill extension to cover all outstanding bonded indebtedness, constructing, refurbishing, remodeling, and equipping other school facilities in a special election September 8, 2020. The district operates on the state’s third lowest millage rate at 30.0 mills. Arkansas’ average millage rate as of the 2019 election was 38.53.
Specific projects include but are not limited to the renovation of the elementary school which was built in 1969, additional classrooms, parking improvements at the middle school, and rebuilding of the Agri facility which currently has walls being supported by bracing. If the existing 5 mills are not extended on September 8, the district will have one more opportunity (2021 calendar year) to pass the millage without missing a year of collections since taxes are collected the following year. “If we don’t pass it this year or next, then we will not collect in the 2023-2024 school year at which time we would have some important funding decisions to be made,” says Superintendent, Don Sharp.
Arkansas schools have a minimum millage rate of 25 mills referred to as the “uniform rate of tax” to be used solely for the maintenance and operation of the schools. The funds generated by the 5.0 mills being asked to continue make up almost 20% of the millage rate income. “In order for us to maintain and exceed our established standards of excellence, we need a positive vote on this millage election which will allow us to provide needed improvements with NO INCREASE in taxes,” stated Superintendent Sharp.
Registered voters who live within the Highland School District may vote in this special election. Voting day is Sept. 8, 2020, 7:30 a.m. – 7:30 p.m. at the Agnos Community Building, Cherokee Village City Hall, Hardy Civic Center, Highland City Hall, Sharp County Courthouse, Williford Fire Station.