Article: Destination 3-1-1 Letter to our D3 Families

Destination 3-1-1 Letter to our D3 Families

D3 families,  

I’d like to take a moment of your time to share some important information about July 14 and what it means for you as a District Three taxpayer.  

Due to Covid-19, more than 60 elections had to be rescheduled, including one that will affect your taxes. Governor McMaster has rescheduled all of these elections as part of Executive Order 2020-33. This includes Spartanburg School District Three’s 
Destination 3-1-1 Referendum that was originally scheduled for April 28, 2020.

So what does this mean for you and your family?

If the Destination 3-1-1 Referendum is successful on July 14, 2020, Spartanburg School District Three’s debt service millage will immediately decrease from 85 mills to 58 mills by issuing an amount not exceeding $29.5 million in general obligation bonds. This money would complete the Clifdale Middle project and perform needed renovations at Cannons Elementary, Cowpens Elementary, Pacolet Elementary and Broome High School more than a decade faster than the current pay-as-you-go plan. 

This means for every $100,000 your home is worth, your taxes will decrease $108 a year if voters approve the referendum on July 14. It’ll also lower your car, boat and rental property taxes. 

The number of students in our district has decreased, but the needs of our students have increased in order to remain competitive with other students in our area. Destination 3-1-1 will allow us to reduce the number of schools, but improve each one. By combining our middle schools, District Three administration would be able to use money that would’ve gone to powering and insuring too many buildings to improving our curriculum and giving our students the best means possible to succeed: more classes, more credits, more programs, more options. 

Our D3 Chairman Kevin Lee said, “Before construction even began last year as promised, the board spent three years trying to figure out the best course of action for all of our students in District Three. When the first referendum didn’t pass, we became laser-focused on providing a better environment for students but with a lower price tag. This referendum would allow us to give our students the space and capabilities to succeed at their highest level and give taxpayers a financial break.”

If the referendum passes, the District will be able to complete Clifdale Middle and update all schools by 2022. If it fails, it will potentially take until 2033 to make all necessary renovations.  Passing the referendum will mean better schools for students and less taxes for D3 residents.  

“As a homeowner and a small business owner in our community, I want to see taxes decrease.  I also want our students to have the best educational environments and opportunities possible.  Successful passage of this referendum will accomplish both,” D3 Vice Chairman Chris Jolley said. 

Over the next several weeks, we will be sharing additional information concerning the Destination 3-1-1 model.  I am very proud to be a part of an innovative District with a Board of Trustees who places the needs and safety of its students, first and foremost. Our students deserve the same opportunities as all Spartanburg County children and the passage of this referendum will allow us to give that to them.
                                                                                                                                    All In,
                                                                                                                                                      Kenny Blackwood 

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