SCARBOROUGH — The Town Council will hold a final public hearing and vote May 17 on a proposed $84.4 million operating budget for municipal, school and county services that would increase spending by 4 percent in the next year.

The municipal budget would increase $700,000, or 2.2 percent, from just under $32 million to $32.7 million in the fiscal year starting July 1, according to the latest budget documents.

The school budget would increase $1.5 million, or 3.2 percent, from $47.5 million to $49 million for the 2017-18 school year. The increase closely mirrors an anticipated $1.4 million reduction in state education aid.

Scarborough’s spending for municipal, school and county services would increase by 4 percent in the next year, under the current $84.4 million proposal. Staff photo by Kelley Bouchard

Overall, the town’s education aid has dropped by nearly $5 million, or 70 percent, over the last decade – from a high of $7 million in 2008-09 to a projected $2.2 million in the coming school year – largely because of its thriving commercial tax base.

On a slightly positive note, the town’s education subsidy has fallen so far that it has been declared a minimum receiver, so its allocation can drop no further, said Town Manager Tom Hall. “They can’t take any more away from us,” he said. “The volatility will be removed from future budgets.”

The county assessment is set to increase $140,814, or 5.5 percent, from $2.6 million to $2.7 million. The overall proposed operating budget, excluding $6.3 million in capital improvements, is up $3.3 million, from $81.7 million to $84.4 million.

The amount to be raised in property taxes would increase $2.9 million, or 4.8 percent, from $60.1 million to $63 million. The property tax rate would increase about 56 cents, or 3.49 percent, from $15.92 to $16.48 per $1,000 in property value. The annual tax bill on a $300,000 home would increase $168, from $4,776 to $4,944.

Next Wednesday’s final budget hearing and vote will begin at 7 p.m. at Town Hall. A town referendum on the school budget will be held June 13.


CORRECTION: This story was updated at 2:30 p.m. on May 11, 2017, to clarify the expected tax bill on an average home.