BRYANT, Ark. (KTHV) - A special election took place on Tuesday in Bryant, trying to approve a millage hike for public schools.

There was a resounding 'no' to that tax hike.

About 2,500 voters turned out, with more than 60 percent saying no to the proposal to up the local rate to 41.9 mills.

"For the past five years we have seen an increase of 250 students per year in our district and no indication that we're going to stop growing," Devin Sherrill of Bryant Public Schools explains.

The Arkansas department of education said the Bryant school district is not suitable with classroom space for their current or future population. Because of that, the department of ed will give $19 million to the district as long as the district comes up with their share of the money. That is why the district is asking voters for a 4.7 millage increase.

The millage increase would be on the assessed value of homes in Bryant to fund a new elementary and middle school. The district currently has the lowest millage rate in Saline county. The proposal would raise them to 41.9 mills, the same as the Benton school district which is the highest in the county.

So what does this mean for the average homeowner? If you have a home valued at $150,000, you would see an increase of $11.75 per month on your tax bill.

One voter says, "I'm for the millage to be passed because I feel that we need good schools for our children." But another voter is weighing other options, "We may need to tighten our belts though and see if there's any solution before we try to increase taxes."

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