Pea Ridge School District To Ask Voters For A Millage Increase

PEA RIDGE (KFSM) -- The Pea Ridge School District is asking voters to up their property tax rate to some of the highest in Northwest Arkansas.

The school board recently approved a measure to send the question to voters during a special election on Tuesday, May 9.

Superintendent Rick Neal said the district is anticipating growth which he said the district must get ahead of by expanding.

Bobbye Joe Dye has three children in the district and said a millage increase is important to their education and the children in the future.

“Like any parent, they want the best for their kids and I think that is why Pea Ridge is busting at the seams because a lot of parents see that Pea Ridge is one of the best schools around," Joe Dye said. "Everyone wants their kids in this school system and so everyone is coming here."

District leaders at Pea Ridge Schools want to build a new high school on land they already own and then move 8th and 9th graders into the current high school. Neal said the district is anticipating even more growth next year.

“We offer choice to a lot of parents with a lot of different kinds of delivery systems and models that we offer," Neal said. "We offer some unique opportunities to live in a small town but also have the convenience of being right next to Rogers and Bentonville for our workers to commute in."

If approved by voters, the city's 44.8 millage rate would go up 5.1 mills to 49.9 mills. For property owners, that would mean an increase of $102 a year for each $100,000 of assessed property value.

An increase of that size would give Pea Ridge School District the highest millage rate among districts in Northwest Arkansas.

Neal said the Pea Ridge School District has not had a millage increase since 2006.

“We cover about 53 square miles. We do not have the assessed evaluation that other communities have," Neal said. "We're just rooftops and small businesses in town, so that attributes to a smaller income base."