BELLAIRE SCHOOL District officials received some bittersweet news at the polls Tuesday night.
The good news came in the form of voter approval of a 5-year, 3-mill renewal levy. The issue barely passed, gaining a 53-vote margin out of more than 2,900 ballots cast. The money will be used for capital improvements and building maintenance.
The good news was dampened by the rejection of the district’s request for a 1-percent income tax.
It marked the fourth time in less than a two-year span that a funding request in some form has been shot down. The first two attempts were a 12.9-mill levy while the latter two were the 1-percent tax.
Tuesday’s outcome was anything but encouraging. The tax encountered a tidal wave of opposition, losing by nearly 800 votes.
The results speak loud and clear, Bellaire School District voters are solidly against such a large funding request. That was reinforced by the slim victory of the renewal levy, which often times gain easy passage as no additional costs are attached.
Despite the resounding loss, Superintendent Tony Scott intimated that the district will have no choice but to go back to the voters again seeking additional money.
We believe Scott may be talking before thinking.
Should the Bellaire Board of Education go that route, we believe the same fate awaits if changes are not made. A 1-percent income tax or a 12.9-mill levy are not palatable to Bellaire voters’ tastes.
We are not suggesting that the school board try a fifth time for money. Rather, should that be the case, we believe a levy of much less millage would stand a better chance of passage.
Some money is better than no money for a district in fiscal emergency.