The proposed $35.3 million Regional School Unit 13 budget for 2022-2023 was approved by a wide margin Tuesday, June 14.

Districtwide, the budget was approved, 1,150-572.

Rockland voters supported the overall budget, 362-200, while Cushing backed it 96-66, and South Thomaston, 108-41. Owls Head voters opposed the budget, 99-96. Thomaston supported the budget, 488-166.

The second article on the budget on whether to continue with the two-step budget approval process was supported in Rockland, 391-165, Cushing, 103-53, Owls Head, 123-76, and South Thomaston, 109-39. Thomaston also supported the same process, 467-173.

The third school article — a $5.1 million bond issue for school repairs — was supported 436-129 in Rockland, 103-59 in Cushing, 124-83 in Owls Head, and 119-30 in South Thomaston.

The overall budget was set by voters at a public forum in May at $35.3 million, an increase in spending of 6.8% ($2,272,100). The referendum was the second and final step to ratify the budget.

Additional revenue, however, will limit the increase in property taxes needed from the communities to 3.3%. The impact on the individual communities will vary sharply because of the state funding formula which is based largely on the state valuation of municipalities with the higher valued communities receiving less aid.

Rockland would pay an additional $302,900, a 2.8% increase. Owls Head would see the largest percentage increase (9.4%) with a $357,500 hike. Thomaston would pay $85,900 more (1.8%). South Thomaston would pay $109,500 more (3.2%). And Cushing would see an increase of $28,800 (2.8%).

Business Manager Peter Orne has pointed out nearly $2 million of the $2.27 million increase is due to increased pay and benefits which are negotiated in labor contracts. Another $200,000 of the increase is due to higher energy costs.

Annual inflation is running at about 8%.