Scarborough voters returned to familiar territory Tuesday when they soundly rejected a proposed $47.4 million school budget that would have increased spending by $718,000 or 3.4 percent in the coming year.

The vote was 2,408 to 1,822, with 57 percent of voters casting ballots against the 2017-18 spending proposal. A second referendum must be held in the coming weeks.

Last year, 56 percent of town voters approved a $47.5 million school budget for 2016-17 that was $2.3 million or 5 percent higher than the previous year.

But in 2015, voters rejected the school budget twice before finally passing a spending plan with 61 percent of the vote, and that was the third year in a row that Scarborough had battled over its school budget through multiple referendums.

The town is anticipating a $1.4 million reduction in state education aid in the fiscal year starting July 1 – part of a nearly $5 million, or 70 percent, reduction over the last decade, largely because of its thriving commercial tax base.

Also on Tuesday, 72 percent of voters agreed to borrow as much as $687,482 to replace the 29-year-old public works fueling station as required by the Maine Department of Environmental Protection. The vote was 2,971 to 1,160.

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