School bond and tax elections in Arkansas

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School bond and tax elections in Arkansas are held under two circumstances:
  • To exceed the debt limit protected under the Arkansas Constitution
  • A statewide referendum for a increase or decrease of Arkansas 25 mill debt limit.

Laws affecting school finance

Arkansas debt limit

Under Arkansas law, there is a debt limit protected by the Arkansas Constitution. No school district can exceed the twenty-five mill debt limit, which is considered to be uniform under the Constitution of Arkansas for all school districts.[1]

Statewide uniform debt limit election

A statewide referendum must be called if the twenty-five mill uniform debt limit needs to be changed. This occurs if the debt limit of 25 mills is to be increased or decreased.[2]

Conduct of election, rules, etc.

Authority conducting elections

All special school elections must be held by the Board of Directors of the respective school district[3]. The County Board of Election Commissioners have authority for all other aspects of school election except determining how many polling places are needed.[4] [5]

Election dates

Under Arkansas law, all elections are generally held during the annual school election held on the third Tuesday in September only for questions held via a referendum.[6]

Needed majority

A simple majority is needed to pass an election involving a school district exceeding the twenty-five mill debt limit or passing an election to reduce or increase the uniform debt limit.[7]

Special elections

Special elections can be held if the Board of Directors of a school district approve a special election before the annual school election and have received approval from the Arkansas Commissioner of Education.[8]

Wording of measures

Under Arkansas law, all ballot measures must be printed as:

The title and name of the ballot measure must be stated in plan language followed by these responses:


“FOR ISSUE NO_____.
“AGAINST ISSUE NO _____.”[9]

All ballot measures must be numbered consecutively when placed on the ballot.[10]

Required notice of bond election

For elections involving the 25 mill statewide debt limit, the Board of Directors of a school district must publish a 60 day public notice required by the Arkansas Constitution. The notice must disclose the budgeted expenditures and a plan to retire the debt as accompanied in the public notice.[11]

All other elections are required to have a public notice of twenty days before the election with the notice published one time a week in the newspaper. All notice advertisements must start twenty days before the election.[12]

See also

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References

  1. Arkansas Legislature "Arkansas Constitution of 1874"(Referenced Section Article 14, Section 3, Subsection(b)(1) and Article 14, Section 3, Subsection 4(c)-(1))
  2. Arkansas Legislature "Arkansas Constitution of 1874"(Referenced Section Article 14, Section 4, First Paragraph)
  3. Arkansas Legislature "Arkansas Code"(Referenced Statute 6-14-102(b))]
  4. Arkansas Legislature "Arkansas Code"(Referenced Statute 7-5-101(a)(2),(d)(1)]
  5. Arkansas Legislature "Arkansas Code"(Referenced Statute 6-14-101]
  6. Arkansas Legislature Arkansas Code(Referenced Statute, 6-14-102(a)-(1)-(2))
  7. Arkansas Legislature "Arkansas Constitution of 1874"(Referenced Section, Article 14, Section 3, Subsection 4)
  8. Arkansas Legislature Arkansas Code(Referenced Statute, 6-14-102(b)(1)-(3))
  9. Arkansas Legislature "Arkansas Election Code"(Referenced Statute 7-9-117(b))
  10. Arkansas Legislature "Arkansas Election Code"(Referenced Statute 7-9-117(c)(3)-(b))
  11. Arkansas Legislature "Arkansas Constitution of 1874"(Referenced Section Article, 4, Section 3, Subsection (c)(1))
  12. Arkansas Legislature "Arkansas Education Code"(Referenced Statute 6-14-109(a)-(c))