Millage proposal apparently fails by eight votes

In unofficial results reported by the Saline County Clark’s office, the proposed increase in millage for the Bryant School District has apparently been rejected by a total of eight votes.

On the Clark’s website, it’s reported that, unofficially, 2,643 voters cast ballots against the millage increase. 2,635 voted for it, a difference of eight votes.

School District communications director Devin Sherrill issued this release:

“Voters living in the Bryant School District rejected a 4.9 mill initiative on March 10 for academic projects to accommodate the ever-increasing growth in student population.

“‘It’s never easy to ask for a tax increase, but with our unprecedented growth the Board and administration felt that we had to ask the voters to help fund new facilities for our students,’” said Dr. Tom Kimbrell, Bryant superintendent.

“The district enrolls an average of 300 new students each year and is projected to add 3,000 students over the next 10 years. Current facilities are not adequate or suitable to accommodate the current and future growth.

“’We are disappointed in the results of the election but we are very proud of the parents, students, teachers, community members, and businesses who supported it. I believe the Bryant community values students and their education. Unfortunately, this wasn’t expressed at the polls,’” said Kimbrell.

“With two failed millage elections, the District will now be expected to meet with the State to determine next steps on providing adequate and suitable facilities to accommodate growth. Planning will include how to house new students, how much it will cost, and how to fund those costs over the next two years.

“’We are thankful for each and every individual who worked to get the word out and voted to approve the millage. We appreciate their investment in our children, in their future,’” said Kimbrell.

“If the proposal had passed, the Bryant School District planned to build a new elementary and middle school, add a cafeteria to the high school, and make security updates throughout the district. The measure would have also funded a conversion of Bryant Middle School to a junior high, plus construction of an arena and performing arts facility.”

Of 30,380 eligible to vote, there were 5,308 votes cast or 17.47 percent.

9 comments

  1. Tony Fuller

    WhIle I’m disappointed in the result of today’s election, what I find most disappointing is that, in a district of almost 8,000 students, only 5,308 people even bothered to cast their vote. Election results this close should be a reminder that EVERY vote counts.

  2. Heather

    Stop allowing the students that do not live in the district and their parents who do not pay taxes there. This is the BIG problem. Bryant Schools gets a federal funding for each student that attends.

  3. Melanie

    I voted against the tax increase because the schools are already receiving more money each year as tax revenue increases with new residents, existing residents moving to more expensive housing, and existing housing being appraised at ever increasing values. Saline County is the wealthiest county in the state of Arkansas, so it follows that per capita property taxes are the highest in the state. I think it is wonderful that Bryant has been able to build some extravagant school buildings, and I understand that Bryant School District would like to continue that spending spree. Stop wasting more money and make do with the increasing income that Bryant School District already has.

    This year about 75% of my property tax went to fund the schools. I think that is enough. People who rent do not see how much of their rent goes to the schools, but hopefully they understood that their rent would have increased to pay the increased property tax. Sales tax is already nearly 10%. We are taxed to the max. No more tax increases!

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