I am writing to urge Scarborough residents to vote yes on Sept. 5 for the third try to pass a town budget. In the last election the budget failed to pass by only 80 votes. There are misleading signs around town claiming “School Tax Increase 6.7 percent – No.” This language is simply false. The 6.7% figure refers to the increase in the school portion of the budget and NOT to a tax increase. The actual real estate tax mill rate increase will be 2.91 percent or an annual increase of $184 on a $400,000 home – about 50 cents a day. It is true that pupil enrollment has decreased about 10 percent in the last seven years, but it is also true that the state contribution to our schools has decreased 50 percent during that time.

No one likes to see their taxes increase, but I believe that our children are worth 50 cents a day. Remember we also all pay for the social consequences of a poorly educated population: lack of skilled workers, fewer people paying taxes, alcohol and drug addiction, crime and social/family violence to name a few. It is time to stop the partisan bickering in our town and support our children’s education.

Walter Novey

Scarborough