BIDDEFORD — Biddeford residents will vote today on a $32.9 million education budget that remained unchanged after it and the city budget were vetoed by Mayor Alan Casavant.

Casavant vetoed the combined $59.9 million budgets June 7, five days before the $32.9 million education budget was due to go to voters for approval. He said he was concerned about adding $1.33 to the property tax rate.

The school budget referendum, required by state law, was rescheduled to today. Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the J. Richard Martin Community Center.

The City Council last week approved a combined $59.7 million budget, leaving intact the previously approved school budget. Councilors cut $170,000 from the city side of the budget.

Finance Director Curt Koehler said cuts made by the council included $100,000 from the capital budget, $50,000 from general assistance, $15,000 from McArthur Public Library and $5,000 from textbook and testing materials for private St. James School.

If the school budget passes, the combined budgets will require the addition of $1.26, or more than 8 percent, to the city’s property tax rate. That equates to a $252 increase on the tax bill of a $200,000 home.

Casavant said he wanted to see the budget reduced by $500,000, including $330,000 from the education budget. Those cuts wouldn’t have negatively affected the schools, he said.

“(The council cuts) really didn’t affect the mill rate very much,” he said.

Staff Writer Gillian Graham can be contacted at 791-6315 or at: [email protected]