School district hopes to renew property tax in special election

The Tucumcari Public School District is asking voters to approve continuing a two-mill property tax in a Feb. 5 special election.

QCS Photo: Jerrene Bradley

The front of the newly remodeled Tucumcari High School. Money from the two-mill property tax levy was used to remodel the school.

School officials said approval of the extension won't increase property taxes.

According to school officials the two-mills will:

  • Provide schools with funds to maintain and improve buildings and purchase equipment.
  • Provide approximately $165,000 annually to make improvements at the schools.
  • The two-mill tax levy is a continuation of a tax already in place for more than 20 years.

Superintendent Aaron McKinney said prior projects funded by the tax include: Construction of the new Tucumcari High School, remodeling of the Rattler Gym and Rhodes Field House, and a new roof at the Tucumcari Elementary School. The money generated by the tax also paid for removal and replacement of failing concrete at student drop off at Tucumcari Middle School and window replacement, according to McKinney.

McKinney said extending the tax another 20 years would generate $3.3 million needed for repairs, maintenance and construction of Tucumcari's public schools.

McKinney said current and recurring needs are school safety and energy efficiency in all school buildings, demolition of the old boiler and boiler building at Tucumcari Middle School and sidewalks to the playground at Tucumcari Elementary.

Nicole Brightlesley, high school principal, said the new school is definitely a great improvement with the cafeteria being centrally located in the building and the layout of the building is wonderful.

She said the heating and cooling system is state of the art. She also said the faculty and students seem to have a better outlook and the students attitudes and moral have improved.

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