Freeport officials are reviewing an $8.8 million municipal budget proposal, which calls for a 3.7 percent spending increase driven by staffing changes, state social service cuts and maintenance of a new passenger train platform for Amtrak’s Downeaster.

If the Town Council approves the $312,000 increase for fiscal 2012-13, which starts July 1, it will add about 10 cents to the property-tax rate of $15.20 per $1,000 of assessed value, said Finance Director Abbe Yacoben.

Freeport’s projected $13.5 million contribution to Regional School Unit 5 would add 20 cents, pushing the tax rate to about $15.50 per $1,000, Yacoben said. Together, municipal and school spending would add about $90 to the current $4,560 annual tax bill on a $300,000 home.

Yacoben and Town Manager Dale Olmstead delivered the proposed municipal budget to the council May 1. The council will review the budget with town administrators tonight and Wednesday night, followed by a public hearing May 15, a budget workshop May 16 and a budget vote May 17.

The portion of the municipal budget to be raised in taxes is up 3 percent, or $138,730, from $4.7 million to $4.8 million.

Several positions would be added, eliminated or consolidated among the police, library, public works and town manager’s departments, causing a $57,187 spending increase, Yacoben said.

The Legislature’s decision to enforce a five-year lifetime maximum on recipients of federal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families is expected to increase demand for General Assistance by 83 percent, or $27,000, Yacoben said.

Utilities, snow removal and insurance for the town’s new railroad platform, built in anticipation of the Downeaster starting to serve Freeport and Brunswick in November, are budgeted to cost $47,500 in the coming year, Yacoben said.

State revenue sharing is expected to increase by $40,000, to $550,000, but that’s still far below the $650,000 that the town received annually in the past, according to the budget proposal.

Excluded from the municipal budget proposal is the $1.9 million capital improvement budget for 2012-13, which the council approved last month. It includes a variety of major equipment purchases, building maintenance and road work, as well as $100,000 earmarked for the first year of a five-year project to eradicate the green crab, which is destroying town shellfish beds.

Also excluded from the municipal budget is the $315,000 spending plan for the Destination Freeport Tax Increment Financing program, also adopted by the council last month. The program is funded by property taxes from the village.

The council has earmarked $155,000 of the program’s budget for economic development, to be divided between the Freeport Economic Development Corp. and the Greater Freeport Chamber of Commerce.

Staff Writer Kelley Bouchard can be contacted at 791-6328 or at: [email protected]