(MEMPHIS, TN) - Bartlett, like a number of municipalities is now considering the idea of creating a separate school district instead of being a part of the new consolidated Shelby County school system. The mayor told ABC24 that is what constituents want, but it begs the questions, how much will all of this cost? And are homeowners willing to pay higher taxes?
“I think that's part of what we're going to explore. I don't think anybody has that answer yet,” said Vice-Mayor Jack Young.
Young believes the talk of creating a school district is pre-mature, especially considering nobody knows how to pay for it.
“I think there are still a lot of questions outstanding about that,” Young told ABC24.
Bartlett mayor, Keith McDonald says some of these concerns will be discussed in a two day strategic planning session.
“I think we need to go the next step and look at the feasibility study and see what the exact cost will be,” McDonald told ABC24.
McDonald admits that a tough economy has led to flat tax revenues and less business growth in the area, so creating a new school district would be an additional burden on the backs of tax payers.
“So far they've indicated yes. So far most of them have said whatever it takes. Now when you see those actual numbers, how many people will continue to feel that way? I don't know,” said McDonald.
Lindy Carr sees the issue from two perspectives, that of a parent and a homeowner. She would be for the new district and even paying additional taxes, but only to a point.
“There's a pro and a con for everything. I don't know really the ceiling. We already pay quite a bit of property taxes. I would pay up to $500 dollars more a year. I think probably no more than that. I wouldn't want it to go up more than that for sure,” said Carr.
City administrators say obviously they're in the early stages of these discussions. Plenty has to be hashed out before the Bartlett school district could ever become a reality. There's even the possibility of a referendum being put before the voters.