Property tax impact up 2.5 percent

Rockland area school budget up for final board vote

By Stephen Betts | May 16, 2017

Rockland — The Regional School Unit 13 Board is scheduled to vote Thursday evening on a proposed $26.9 million budget that would require an additional 2.5 percent in property taxes from the district.

The board is scheduled to meet at 6:30 p.m. May 18 at the McLain School to adopt the budget.

The $26.9 million budget for 2017-2018 represents a 3.6 percent increase in expenses from the approved 2016-2017 budget. Business Manager Peter Orne said the increase is due to personnel costs, particularly for additional staff for special education, which is needed because of an increase in students needing services.

"The increase would have been a great deal higher if the district hadn’t identified a number of efficiencies in facilities, especially. And the budget does include a partial first-year estimated payment on the recently approved building renovation and construction projects," the business manager said.

Districtwide, the amount of additional property taxes needed to support the budget is up 2.5 percent, Orne said. Additional state aid helped cushion the increase.

The amount each municipality in RSU 13 will have to pay, however, varies based on the number of students from those communities, as well as the towns' state valuations.

Rockland will see a 2.4 percent ($209,112) increase, with the city's share reaching $9,005,486 for 2017-2018.

Thomaston will experience the largest percentage increase at 5.6 percent ($217,133), bringing its payments to $4,069,279.

Cushing will pay $3,202,465, up 5.4 percent ($164,208).

Owls Head will pay $2,720,608, up 1 percent ($28,609).

South Thomaston will pay $2,682,931, down 3.4 percent ($93,090).

Residents of the five communities can gather at 6 p.m. Tuesday, May 30, at Oceanside High School auditorium to vote on whether to accept the board's proposed budget or make changes.

Residents in the five communities will then vote at the polls in each community Tuesday, June 13, on whether to adopt the budget supported at the May 30 hearing. If approved, the budget goes into effect July 1. If the budget is rejected, the process starts anew, leading to a subsequent hearing and referendum.

Absentee ballots for the June 13 budget vote will be available after the May 30 meeting.

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