May 14, 2013

School budgets: Cape 'yes,' Scarborough 'no'

Scarborough now has 10 days to revise its school budget and schedule another referendum.

By Dennis Hoey
Staff Writer

SCARBOROUGH — Residents in Scarborough and Cape Elizabeth voted on proposed school budgets Tuesday, and the outcomes were very different.

Scarborough voters rejected a $38.9 million budget for the year starting July 1, with an overwhelming number of voters saying the spending proposal was too much.

As proposed, the budget was 4.24 percent more than the current budget. It would have added 75 cents per $1,000 to the town's property tax rate, adding $225 to the tax bill for a home valued at $300,000.

Town Clerk Tody Justice said 898 votes were cast against the budget and 643 in favor.

In a nonbinding ballot question, 929 voters said the budget proposal was too high and 264 said it was acceptable. A total of 334 voters said the budget was too low.

The town now has 10 days to revise its school budget and schedule a second referendum.

About 10 percent of Scarborough's registered voters cast ballots.

Cape Elizabeth voters approved a $22.5 million school budget, with 625 in favor and 377 opposed.

In a separate advisory vote, 441 Cape Elizabeth voters said they believed the budget was acceptable while 320 said it was too high. Only 218 people said the budget was too low.

The budget for 2013-14 is up 3.5 percent over the current budget. It will add 46 cents to the property tax rate, $138 to the tax bill of a home valued at $300,000.

About 13 percent of Cape Elizabeth's registered voters cast ballots.

On a third ballot question, voters in both towns indicated that they want to continue to vote on school budgets for the next three years.

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