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05/09/2017

Council tables 2017-18 budget decision to May 15

The Town Council on May 8, 2017 voted to table adoption of a $38.7 million combined 2017-18 municipal budget to a special meeting May 15.

Four residents spoke at a public hearing before the vote, most of them asking councilors to remember taxpayers who are on fixed incomes.

Longfellow Drive resident Carole Kainlor said that she has been retired for a number of years, and because she is on a fixed income, she has to budget accordingly. "I just wonder if there isn't some way to manage the taxes, the town budget a little more - I hate to use the word 'efficiently,' but just to take some of us senior citizens into account who just have to struggle with our budgets," she said.

Another resident, RuthAnne Haley of Brentwood Road, said she was concerned about school spending. "Over the past 10 years that I've lived here the enrollments continue to go down, taxes continue to go up, and I've witnessed sort of an emotional way to create a budget," Haley said. "I'm not an educator but I think that we should be making decisions that are data-driven, not emotionally driven and not driven by what other towns are doing."

Budget adoption was scheduled for May 15 to comply with state law requiring budget validation elections to occur within 30 days of adoption. The validation has been scheduled for June 13, to coincide with the state referendum.

At the May 15 meeting councilors are also expected to consider a request from the School Board that, if the schools receive unexpected state subsidy next year, half of the extra money go to replenish the schools' unassigned fund balance.

Town Manager Matthew Sturgis called the proposal a good-faith effort to clarify what would happen with extra funding should it occur, but Councilor Jessica Sullivan, chair of the Finance Committee, said she would rather see all unanticipated subsidy go to tax relief. Sullivan will work with town staff to draft alternate language for consideration on May 15.

Special funds approved

The council on May 8 did adopt $3.7 million in special funds budgets for Fort Williams Park, Portland Head Light, rescue, sewer, the Spurwink Church and Riverside Cemetery, the Thomas Jordan Trust, infrastructure improvement and land acquisition.

Here is a summary of the general-fund budget proposals. More detailed information is available in this website's budget section:

Budget summary and proposed tax impact: [download]

   FY 2017   FY 2018   $ Change % Change
   BUDGET   BUDGET  FY 17  to FY 18 FY 17  to FY 18
EXPENDITURES        
TOTAL MUNICIPAL  $    12,052,688  $    12,185,599  $           132,911 1.1%
COUNTY ASSESSMENT  $      1,247,048  $      1,331,050  $             84,002 6.7%
Local Homestead Exemption  $         312,000  $         320,000  $               8,000 2.6%
SCHOOL DEPARTMENT  $    24,287,545  $    24,879,014  $           591,469 2.4%
   $    37,899,281  $    38,715,663  $           816,382 2.2%
         
REVENUE        
TOTAL MUNICIPAL  $      4,950,000  $      4,938,670  $          (11,330) -0.2%
SCHOOL DEPARTMENT  $      3,433,270  $      3,012,658  $        (420,612) -12.3%
TOTAL  $      8,383,270  $      7,951,328  $        (431,942) -5.2%
         
NET TO TAXES        
TOWN  SERVICES  $      7,102,688  $      7,246,929  $           144,241 2.0%
Local Homestead Exemption  $         312,000  $         320,000  $               8,000 2.6%
COUNTY ASSESSMENT  $      1,247,048  $      1,331,050  $             84,002 6.7%
SCHOOL DEPARTMENT  $    20,854,275  $    21,866,356  $        1,012,081 4.9%
TOTAL  $    29,516,011  $    30,764,335  $        1,248,324 4.2%
         
TAX RATES (Rounded to nearest ¢)        
 Local Homestead Exemption  $              0.18  $              0.19  $                0.01 5.6%
TOTAL MUNICIPAL  $              4.22  $              4.29  $                0.07 1.7%
COUNTY ASSESSMENT  $              0.74  $              0.79  $                0.05 6.6%
SCHOOL DEPARTMENT  $             12.40  $             12.95  $                0.55 4.4%
TOTAL  $             17.54  $             18.22  $                0.68 3.9%
         
TAX RATE VALUATION BASIS   1,682,000,000   1,688,300,000  $   6,300,000.00 0.4%

 

 

 



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