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Batesville School District prepares for millage election

Published: Aug. 30, 2021 at 8:29 PM CDT|Updated: Aug. 30, 2021 at 9:09 PM CDT
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BATESVILLE, Ark. (KAIT) - The Batesville School District has seen its enrollment increase by over 500 students in the past decade and are hoping to prepare for further growth with the passage of a new millage.

The election is set to take place on Sept. 14, with early voting starting Tuesday, Sept. 7, at the Batesville Aquatic Center.

Independence County’s Tax Collector Paul Albert shared how the millage could impact the community if it passes.

“The millage will be calculated for everybody that lives in the district, not just the city of Batesville,” Albert. “Will see an increase of 5.9 mills on their taxes.”

5.9 mills mean that owners of property in the school district would pay more in taxes each year depending on their appraised property value to help the school district’s growth across Independence County. For example, property that is appraised around $25,000 will have its yearly tax raised by around $30. Click here to calculate how the tax increase will impact you.

“The Batesville School District now includes the old Sulphur Rock School District, the old Cushman School District, and the Desha School District,” Albert said. “So all those school districts that were once separate are now included in the Batesville School District and if you live in that school district you have an opportunity to vote yes or no for this.”

Why should you vote yes?

The district is looking to improve safety and security at its school’s entrances and renovate and build new classrooms.

“Schools represent, the education represents the quality of life,” said Dr. Michael Hester, superintendent of Batesville School District. “If you have good schools, people want to move here.”

Those who disagree with the millage say the school district has mismanaged money and is already good enough without a millage increase.

Hester disagrees, saying the district is currently suffering from success.

“We have done everything,” Hester said. “And on top of that, we have attracted so many people that we’re growing and outgrowing what we have. So this would be just like a family who’ve outgrown their home.”

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