2016-04-29 / Front Page

No changes to SoPo school budget

By Wm. Duke Harrington
Staff Writer

No news was considered good news in what may have been the briefest joint session ever of South Portland city councilors and members of the board of education, on Monday, April 25.

During a workshop that lasted less than six minutes, Superintendent Ken Kunin announced there were no late changes to his most recent budget presentation for the 2016-2017 school year. With insurance rates at a zero percent increase and the state subsidy holding steady at $6.28 million, the proposed education budget that will go before city voters June 14 remains set at $47.8 million – an increase of $1.7 million.

Kunin said the proposal is up 2.27 percent over current spending, meaning an increase of 2 -cents to the mil rate. In other words, the median single family home in South Portland, assessed at $200,000, can expect a take increase of $52 next year to support public education.

Given an expected increase in city spending of $1.2 million – for a new municipal operating budget of $32.6 million – along with a rise in county taxes, the overall mil rate is expected to climb 53 cents, to $17.93 per $1,000 of assessed value.

“Of course, that is all subject to change with what happens with the final valuation in June,” Kunin said.

A final public hearing on the budget is scheduled for 7 p.m. on Monday, May 16, in council chambers at city hall.

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