School taxes supporting local education are based on a millage rate. A mill is 1/10th of one penny. A millage rate is based on a property’s assessed value, not total value. In Arkansas, the assessed value represents 20% of the property’s total value. For example, a property valued at $100,000, has an assessed value of $20,000. Using this example of an assessed value of $20,000, each mil voted by the patrons would cost the property owner $20 per year.
Some believe that the residents of a school district who are not property owners, and who rent apartments, for instance, don’t pay their fair share for the support of our local schools.
Remember, the owner of the apartment building, or the landlord, certainly does pay the appropriate annual millage rate. And common business sense tells us that any landlord’s cost of operating the apartment complex or a rent house is figured into the monthly rent. So the renter does support the local schools by way of the rent he or she pays on their apartment or rented home.
Millages are fair taxes. They are based on value, and that means the value of property not just for you, but for every resident in the area. In the case supporting education, it’s for all property in the school district. No more. No less.
There are real benefits derived from the equal and fair support of our schools through property taxes. For the Bryant school district – encompassing the city of Bryant, as well as other areas of the county, including Alexander, Benton, Salem, Mabelvale, Shannon Hills, Paron, Bauxite, and Avilla – the benefits of an additional 3.6 mils will come from less overcrowding by constructing two new elementary schools, a new junior high school, and additional buildings at Bryant High School. More mils also mean having the resources to recruit and retain the very best teachers and staff. In other words, more schools mean less overcrowding and a better learning environment, while competitive salaries mean the best teachers and improved student learning.
It all comes down to maximizing every taxpayer dollar for better schools and a better community, meaning spending your money wisely.