Editor’s note: A previous version of this story incorrectly indicated how much the bond would increase taxes per year for homeowners. McPherson Public Schools says the anticipated tax increase on a $200,000 home will be $20.60 more per month.
MCPHERSON, Kan. (KSNW) — The split can be seen driving through neighborhoods in McPherson, with “vote yes” and “vote no” signs posted in people’s yards.
If you own a home valued at $200,000, the proposed bond is anticipated to increase your taxes by $20.60 per month, according to the school district. The district says the $88.5 million bond would construct a new academic building at McPherson High School and upgrade HVAC systems at every school in the district.
Built nearly 60 years ago, McPherson High School sent students home on the second day of class because of HVAC issues. The School Board President, Ann Elliott, says they need a new building immediately.
“There’s structural issues, there’s cracks in the walls, there’s roofing issues,” said Elliott.
She wants voters to approve the project now.
“That cost will only increase costs the longer we fail to do something, construction costs increase, inflation goes up, and the problems don’t go away,” said Elliott.
Running for a seat on the school board, Chelsea Busch calls herself ‘a voice’ of people opposed to passing the bond.
“$88 million is a lot of money. Can we cut that in half and get our children what they need instead of what they want,” said Busch.
She’s also concerned with how the district has managed facilities.
“We’re just being neglectful to our facilities instead of maintaining them, that’s what we’re doing,” said Busch.
She believes the rise in property taxes will force people out of McPherson.
“This community is built on small business owners, and farmers, and senior citizens with low incomes. If this passes, we will eventually be taxing that large group of people out of our community,” said Busch.
Long-term educator Carmen Zeisler believes passing the bond would benefit students and faculty.
“We want to provide our educators with infrastructure that allows them to do their job, and they do not have to worry about it being too cold or too hot,” said Zeisler.
The new bond would also provide secure entrances for the elementary schools and middle schools. The last time the issue was on the ballot, in May, the vote failed by less than 200 votes.