PORTLAND – The city’s next municipal budget, due to be released today, calls for “stabilization” of core services, the property tax rate and the city’s work force, Portland’s spokeswoman said.

The proposed budget for 2011-12 will be released after interim City Manager Pat Finnigan sends her numbers to the City Council.

The budget would avoid layoffs — although some workers would be offered early retirement incentives — and preserve municipal services without a significant tax increase, said Nicole Clegg, the city’s spokeswoman.

She did not offer specific figures on the budget, which this year totals $196.2 million and accounts for about half of the city’s tax rate of $17.92 per $1,000 of assessed value.

Clegg said the budget won’t require the kinds of painful choices the council has had to make in the past few years. In the past three years, the city has cut its work force by about 10 percent, closed two library branches and reduced police coverage on Peaks Island — one issue behind a secession effort there.

Other programs were saved by community efforts, she said, such as the city’s July 4 fireworks display, which was cut from Portland’s budget but saved by several business leaders who banded together to cover the cost.

Clegg also noted that the Kiwanis pool in Libbytown — the city’s only outdoor pool — would have been closed to reduce the budget, but the service group raised money to keep it open.

Clegg said about 150 of the city’s 1,356 workers will be eligible for the early retirement incentives. Those workers’ jobs will not be eliminated, but the city will save money if a veteran employee near the top of the pay scale retires and is replaced by a new worker near the bottom of the scale for that position.

Non-tax revenue, which accounts for about two-thirds of the money Portland takes in each year, has stabilized, Clegg said, with areas such as fees from building permits showing increases recently.

She said some revenue totals are still undetermined while lawmakers work on the state budget. The major sources are Maine’s share for general assistance and revenue sharing with municipalities, which together total about $1 million.

Finnigan will present her budget proposal to the City Council on Monday, then the council will send it to its Finance Committee for review.

Portland’s school board will send its budget to the council on April 11. The board’s finance panel has approved a $91.6 million budget that includes $1.5 million in savings from 43 retirements, with about half of those jobs being eliminated.

The board is expected to consider restoring some of those jobs with money saved in a newly approved teacher’s contract.

The school budget for 2011-12 now calls for $1.2 million more in property taxes, an increase about of 1.8 percent, which would add about 15 cents to the city’s tax rate. That would mean a tax increase of about $30 on a $200,000 home.

The school budget will be sent to voters after the council adopts it.

Staff Writer Edward D. Murphy can be contacted at 791-6465 or at:

[email protected]