By Conway Spurlock, Highland School District Taxpayer

The Highland school district has set a special election for February 14, with early voting beginning February 7.This is the same tax increase proposal that 2/3 of the voters said no to in November. If passed, this measure will set our millage rate at 55 percent higher than what is required by the state legislature for the operation and maintenance of our schools. They are asking to spend over$30 million on a project based only on the artist’s rendering of what their school will look like on the outside. There are no blue-prints and no spec sheet showing specifics of the building, that includes a 900 seat auditorium for the band that could cost as much as $15 million. There is no way to know without competitive bids. Some of our roofs were leaking when they built the $12 million AL Hudson center and when they bought the off-campus administration building and when they bought the off-campus pillbox pharmacy building and also when they bought the off campus Ju-lea Garner doctor’s office. There have been no bids taken to just fix our problems. Our buildings have not been properly maintained for quite some time. Most of us are struggling to keep our properties maintained during these difficult times. The people running our school system are wanting to raise our taxes so they can build their dream school. 2021 were the latest figures I could attain on school expenditures. In 2021 our top 12 highest paid non-teaching employees were paid a combined salary of$1,036,456. Our next 10 highest paid non-teaching positions drew a combined salary o f $646,000. I think the budget could be trimmed and money could be found for re-pairs. Please vote no on this tax increase.

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