The Little Rock millage question: taxation without representation? | Cover Stories – Arkansas News

The Little Rock millage question: taxation without representation? | Cover Stories – Arkansas News

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  • FIRST-TIME NO VOTER: Judge Marion Humphrey Sr. says he’ll cast his first no vote in a millage election because he can’t trust Commissioner Johnny Key.

On May 9, residents of the Little Rock School District will vote on a ballot measure that would allow the district to make facilities improvements totaling $160 million, if approved. According to LRSD Superintendent Mike Poore, the measure is not a new tax, since it would not raise the rate of 46.4 mills now levied on property owners. Instead, by refinancing debt on an existing bond, the district would push back the expiration date of a portion (12.4 mills) of the current tax rate by 14 years, from 2033 to 2047. The LRSD says the projects to be funded by this extension of debt would include construction of a new high school in long-neglected Southwest Little Rock, major renovations to the McClellan High School campus and improvements to almost every school building in the district, from roof replacements to air conditioner upgrades to new windows. The work could begin as early as this summer, with some efforts completed in time for the 2017-18 school year.

So why are many public school advocates — including the city’s most visible African-American civic…

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