City to host informational meetings prior to Primary Election
The City of Bella Vista will host two informal public meetings to provide information and answer residents’ questions about an upcoming pension plan millage increase issue to be on the 2024 Primary Election ballot.
Meetings will be held at two times and in two locations:
- 6 – 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 23 at the Bella Vista Recreation Center (formerly Riordan Hall), 3 Riordan Drive
- 3 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 6 at the Bella Vista Police Department Training Room, 2483 Forest Hills Blvd.
The city will ask voters to choose for or against a one-half mill increase in property taxes to be designated toward police officers’ pension plans.
The city currently collects 1.5 mills dedicated to uniformed employees’ pension plans, with one mill toward firefighters and one-half mill toward police. This was approved by voters in 2014. By state law, the city is legally able to ask for only one mill for each department and cannot spend these funds for any other purpose.
Mayor John Flynn said he estimates the one-half mill increase will cost the average Bella Vista resident about $20 per year.
“The city is required by law to contribute to our uniformed employees’ pensions, and collecting those funds through a millage is a way to guarantee those pensions will be funded and our employees will be taken care of when they are eligible for retirement,” Flynn said.
For more information about what millage is and what this increase means to residents, find a prepared Frequently Asked Questions page HERE.
Residents are encouraged to attend one or both public meetings to gather all information possible to make their decision at the polls.