CAPE ELIZABETH – The Town Council will hold a public hearing Monday on a combined municipal, school and county budget of $33.2 million that avoids job cuts and provides the town its first step toward full-day kindergarten.
The proposal would require a 3.5 percent hike in taxes, an increase of 56 cents per $1,000 of assessed valuation. The public hearing starts at 7 p.m. at town hall and will be followed by a vote on the proposal.
The municipal budget of just over $9 million is up 1.9 percent over the current year and accounts for 6 cents of the proposed 56-cent tax rate increase, according to a budget summary provided by town officials. The $22.5 million school budget is up 3.5 percent and accounts for 46 cents of the proposed 56-cent increase in the tax rate.
The Cumberland County assessment is up 6.4 percent over the current year, and adds 4 cents to the tax rate.
The budget for Community Services is up 2.3 percent, or nearly $10,000, but will not increase the tax rate. Russell Packett, director of Community Services, said the extra money will allow for the replacement of equipment and other capital improvements.
During a recent school board meeting, Superintendent Meredith Nadeau outlined the school department’s plan to launch a pilot program for full-day kindergarten. Two full-day kindergarten sessions will be offered with students chosen by lottery.
Nadeau said the town will be able to launch the pilot program without any additional cost to taxpayers.
A school budget validation referendum is set for May 14.