Voters in North Little Rock School District No. 1 last week approved a property tax increase to support up to $200 million of 31-year general obligation bonds.

The proceeds will finance a five-year, $265.5 million capital construction and renovation effort.

Officials said the capital spending will generate $1.2 billion of economic activity in Pulaski County.

The district expects to receive $66.6 million from Arkansas’ academic facilities partnership program for the effort.

More than 57% of the 6,688 voters at the special election endorsed a five-year increase in the property tax rate to 48.3 mills from 40.9 mills.

The new rate will be the second-highest school property tax rate in the state. The district said the increase will bring in an additional $5.3 million a year.

The owner of a house valued at $100,000 will pay a total school tax bill of $966 per year, an increase of $148 per year due to the tax increase. Real property in Arkansas is assessed at 20% of appraised value.

The capital program will reduce the number of campuses to 13 from the current 21.

The district has pledged its anticipated savings of $8.3 million a year from the school consolidations to support the new debt.

It has not built a new school since 1969.

The district has $24.7 million of outstanding GO debt with an enhanced rating of Aa3 from Moody’s Investors Service based on the state’s district enhancement program.

The district is the eighth-largest district in the state.

Construction on the bond-financed projects is expected to begin in early 2013.

The two-part program includes a $169 million initial phase that is expected to be completed by mid-2013 and a $96 million final phase to be completed before the beginning of the 2015-2016 school year.

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