LISBON

If Lisbon’s proposed school budget goes forward as is, taxes will be going up by 10 percent.

While costs are increasing, actions taken in previous budgets are helping drive the steep hike in the coming year.

Superintendent Richard Green shared his $16.5 million budget with town councilors last week, with a proposed spending increase of $837,647 — or 5.5 percent. In the proposal, $7.1 million would be raised by taxes; that’s an increase of $654,893 — or 10 percent — from the current year’s $6.5 million.

No tax rate has been set, because there are still some variables that could impact that.

Big cost drivers include:

• Health insurance — The district is budgeting for a maximum increase of $235,335, or 9 percent, but the final cost has not been given to Lisbon yet. It is possible, Green said, for that amount to decrease before the final budget is adopted.

• Salaries — The district had been underestimating salary expenses for the past 16 years, keeping a static $250,000 increase in the proposed budgets each year. The actual impact determined for next year is $455,586, which is what is in Green’s spending plan.

The superintendent and school committee members also agreed a part-time maintenance person was needed; that position will cost $28,759.

• Unassigned fund balance — The district used a little more than $200,000 from an unassigned fund balance to help offset costs, including those associated with the launch of the Gartley Street School alternative education program. It also had been used for salary adjustments. In the proposed budget, just $5,678 was available from that fund.

• State subsidy — Last year, state legislation required 50 percent of its subsidy for local districts go toward taxes. As a result, Green said, $200,000 of the subsidy was counted as revenue when determining the tax rate. He told councilors that would not be the case this year.

In other discussion, Green said he’d been contacted by concerned residents about adding an extra school resource officer. The cost for an additional officer was not included in the budget proposal, however, as only preliminary discussions have taken place. Councilors suggested the possibility of providing an office for Lisbon police within the schools for officers to complete paperwork. While it would not be an additional resource officer, it would increase police presence at the school.

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