Landlords urge renters to vote no to HWH school measure or face rent increases

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HELENA-WEST HELENA, Ark. --Vicki Adams couldn't believe it when she saw it all spelled out for her on paper.

Her mother received a letter from the landlord at the Pine Tree Apartments that said she should vote 'No" to a ballot measure to build a new high school or face a $10 to $12 rent increase.

"I`d have to pay $12 something more," said Winona Patterson. "Some of us just barely make it."

At issue is an almost $10 million tax increase that proponents say would let them replace the aging Central High School with a new campus. The measure goes before voters Tuesday, but it has its critics.

"Everyone has to pay. Not someone, everyone."

Mike Taylor opposes the measure because he said property taxes are already too high. Still the letter from the landlord have some saying they go too far.

"It`s deplorable to try to intimidate people. If you`re gonna raise their rent, raise their rent," said Andrew Bagley.

"You can call that intimidation on his side. You could call it a fair and advanced warning on a property owner`s side," said Taylor.

Call it what you will, some believe it really could influence the outcome of Tuesday's election.

"Most of them probably gonna vote against it more than likely," said Adams.

"Because of this letter?"

"Possibly."