Millage Increase Voting Takes Place In Benton County

BENTON COUNTY (KFSM) -- Early voting ended in Benton County on Monday (May 8) for three different millage increases.

If passed, the increases would go toward expansion projects at Rogers, Bentonville and Pea Ridge School Districts.

Voters are looking at a 3.5 mill increase for Rogers, a 1.9 mill increase for Bentonville and a 5.1 mill increase for Pea Ridge.

For each $100,000 of assessed property value, homeowners in Bentonville would pay $38 more per year, about $70 for those in Rogers and $102 for Pea Ridge.

The county clerk's office said it had approximately 2,415 early voters for all three millage increases.

Many of the people who talked to 5NEWS said they voted for the increase.

Sharon Carns is one of those voters.

She says she retired in Benton County about 10 years ago after being a teacher in Wisconsin.

“And I have no children or grandchildren in the district," Carns said. "It’s going to raise our taxes but I don’t feel like I can afford to not vote for it.”

When asked why, she said the children are our future and that they need a good education.

Many voters we talked to were either currently working in education or at one point in time had a job in education.

Wayne Phillips said he was a former Bentonville School Board member and explains why he voted for the increase.

“The growth of the population has just overtaken us and we just need the millage for new buildings and facilities," Phillips said.

He continued to say that with these new buildings, students would have plenty of classroom space to learn and get the education they needed.

There was not a single voter who told our reporter that they voted against any of the proposed increases.

Some did refuse to say which way they voted.

Election Day voting officially begins on Tuesday (May 9) in a special election at the following polling locations:

  • Bella Vista Baptist Church
  • New Life Christian Church
  • Bella Vista Church of Christ
  • Bentonville Church of Christ
  • First Landmark Missionary Baptist
  • Reach Church
  • Lakeview Baptist Church
  • Southside Church of Christ
  • Central United Methodist Church
  • Prairie Creek Association Community Center
  • Lowell First Baptist Church
  • NEBCO Community Building
  • First Baptist Church of Pea Ridge
  • Benton County Election Commission Office