Friday, December 19, 2014

TOP STORY >> Local voters must decide millage rate

Leader senior staff writer

If voters in the Pulaski County Special School District approve a 5.6-mill property tax increase in September, it will not affect patrons of the newly formed Jacksonville-North Pulaski School District, PCSSD attorney Allen Roberts said in response to a question from District Judge D. Price Marshall on Thursday.

Jacksonville district patrons will not even vote on that increase, Roberts said.

The Jacksonville district is to have the same tax rate as PCSSD at the time of detachment, and, while it isn’t operating schools yet, the state Board of Education formed the new district on Nov. 13, when the current PCSSD millage was, and continues to be, 40.6 mills.

For there to be a property-tax increase to fund new Jacksonville-area schools, the increase would have to be on the ballot for the Jacksonville school elections, possibly as early as this September.

Marshall said he would rule soon on PCSSD’s $200 million plan to build new schools to replace Mills and Robinson high schools, to renovate those existing high schools into junior high schools and to modernize and expand Sylvan Hills High School.

Marshall declared PCSSD, with agreement by the Joshua Intervenors, unitary in special education. He commended PCSSD and the Joshua Intervenors for working well together on the desegregation front, and PCSSD and the Jacksonville district for their cooperation in moving forward on detachment.