SOUTH PORTLAND — The City Council will continue its review Wednesday night of a combined $85.6 million municipal, school and county budget proposal that would increase the property tax rate by an estimated 66 cents, 3.75 percent.

The meeting will run from 5 to 9 p.m. in the council chamber and include the fire protection, public works, parks, recreation and waterfront budgets. Council budget deliberations that began Monday will continue through next month, including a public hearing April 5 at 7 p.m.

The general fund budget proposal for the fiscal year that starts July 1 is up $2.8 million, or 3.4 percent, from the spending plan for this fiscal year. The amount to be raised in property taxes would be $62.5 million, which is $1.6 million, or 2.7 percent, higher than the current budget.

Under the combined budget proposal, the property tax rate would increase from $17.70 to an estimated $18.36 per $1,000 of assessed property value. The annual tax bill on a $200,000 home would increase $132, or 3.72 percent, from $3,540 to $3,672.

“It should be noted be noted that in terms of property tax increases, South Portland stacks up well against peer communities,” newly hired City Manager Scott Morelli wrote in his budget proposal.

South Portland’s tax rate increased $1.60, or 10 percent, from fiscal 2012 to fiscal 2017, while the median tax increase across 79 designated service center communities during that period was 15.5 percent, Morelli said.

“In fact, 55 of these communities saw a larger tax increase than South Portland,” said Morelli, formerly Gardiner’s city manger. “This supports the notion that city staff and elected officials have been successful in keeping tax increases relatively low.”

Morelli’s $34 million municipal budget proposal is up $1.4 million, or 4.4 percent, over the current spending plan. It calls for several new positions, including a municipal buildings and grounds manager, an economic development director and a part-time assistant in the city’s two-year-old sustainability office.

The $48.9 million school budget proposed by Superintendent Ken Kunin is $1.2 million, or 2.6 percent, higher than this year’s budget. It calls for adding several positions to meet enrollment, special education and school improvement needs, including a school nurse, a literacy teacher, a part-time elementary math coach and two part-time van drivers.

Kelley Bouchard can be contacted at:

[email protected]