Special Called Meeting to be held on Tax Increase
By Logan Watson
The Milan Special School District’s Board of Education will hold a special called meeting on Tuesday, December 11, to approve a tax increase for renovations for MSSD facilities.
While there are renovation needs at Milan Elementary and Milan Middle, the discussion that will take place will focus on tax increases to cover the $18-$18M-$20M renovation plan proposed by TLM Associates at the monthly board meeting held on November 26.
The agenda for the special meeting has only one item.
The language of the agenda calls for the board to “approve” a tax increase, but, According to Director of Schools Jonathan Criswell, the language was chosen only because that would require a vote by the board.
“The board could vote on the matter, but it would still need to go before the state legislature for approval,” Director Criswell said.
If the board comes to an agreement on a tax rate, the legislature would meet to consider the matter sometime between January and March. Any increase would be added to the 2019 tax bill issued in 2020.
“We wouldn’t need any of that tax money for day to day operations at the schools,” Criswell added. “All of that would go toward the facilities, if the board decides to do that. We are almost completely debt free from the bonds that were issued for the Middle School and Central Office renovations.”
Debt projections discussed by the board at the recent meeting included a 25-cent tax increase, but Criswell noted that the board was not locked into that amount.
“What we’re looking at, it’s not about tomorrow,” Criswell said. “It’s about where we want to be 15 years from now. We are not competing for students just outside of town. We are looking to draw people that want to put down roots and be a part of our community here in Milan.” “Facilities matter now,” Criswell continued. “Families are going to look at Milan and ask, “Is this where I want my child to go to school?” If Milan is on an equal footing in terms of facilities, I will put our teachers up against anyone in terms of the quality of education we can offer.”
The meeting is scheduled to take place at the MSSD Central Office at 5:30 p.m.