LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) - Little Rock voters have had their say in the decision to extend a millage tax for the Little Rock School District.
Over 64 percent, or 7,167 people, voted against the measure with roughly 10 percent of voters turning out for the issue. Opponents claimed that they want local control restored for the district before they can even consider extending the millage.
"Taxation without representation is absolutely against democracy," said Dr. Anika T. Whitfield, "it's against the founding of our forefathers of this nation. I cannot believe that an elected governing body would suggest something that is taxation without representation."
LRSD Superintendent Michael Poore, in his bid to have the extension pass, said the district would use the money generated to allow improvements for school buildings. Poore said that it would help to build a new high school in southwest Little Rock as well.
"There's probably over $350 million worth of needs, this just starts to address the basics of those needs," he said.
But Jim Ross, a former city school board member, argued that the district has a "30-year history of ignoring southwest Little Rock" and claimed citizens didn't know what would actually be done with extra money generated from the extension.
Acadia Roher with No Taxation Without Representation said while both sides of the argument care about the students, the group believed that the students deserved better facilities than what was "offered by the proposed short-term renovations."
"Today's result does nothing to change the fact that students and families deserve to know what lies ahead for a generation, not a few years," Roher said. "This type of foresight must become a plan developed by and committed to by the people of this district."
- FOR TAX: 3,938 (35.46%)
- AGAINST TAX: 7,167 (64.54%)
- Voter turnout: 10.04%