Voters in Pulaski County, Ark., will be asked July 10 to establish a taxing district to provide financing for Pulaski Technical College through a property tax levy.
The two-year technical community college is one of seven state-supported colleges without a property tax. Revenue is limited to state aid and tuition.
“This probably means more to this community than anything we’ve ever done,” trustee chairman John Suskie said at last week’s board meeting.
An advisory committee has been established to determine the tax rate that will be requested. Each mill is expected to generate $6.2 million a year.
The school’s state aid has gone from $2.1 million when it was established in 1991 to $14.3 million in fiscal 2011, but has not kept up with Pulaski Tech’s growth. Sixteen other districts in Arkansas are supported through a 0.375% sales tax or a property tax of up to 4 mills.
Pulaski County voters rejected a 0.125% sales tax for the college in 2002.
Revenue from the tax would finance operations and capital improvements.
College president Dan Bakke said Pulaski Tech has a capital project list totaling $65 million for achieving its long-range goals.
The school also needs $11.5 million for annual operations.
Pulaski Technical College’s debt is rated AA-plus with a negative outlook by Standard & Poor’s.
The district issued $69.5 million of student tuition and fee revenue bonds in 2011.