Westbrook’s proposed $68.1 million budget for next year would result in the city’s largest property tax increase in nine years.

Mayor Mike Sanphy presented his proposal for the municipal, school and county budget to the Westbrook City Council on Monday evening. His budget for the fiscal year that starts July 1 is $3.7 million higher, or 5.8 percent, than the spending plan for the current year.

If approved, the property tax rate would go from $18.88 per $1,000 of assessed value to $19.88. On a home assessed at $190,000, that increase amounts to $190.

“We can no longer simply turn to the property taxpayer for additional funding support for our municipal and educational programs and services,” Sanphy wrote in his budget letter. “This proposed budget attempts to begin moving our community in this more sustainable direction.”

The majority of the tax rate increase comes from the school budget.

The spending plan for the Westbrook School District is still under review by the school committee. Under the budget presented Monday, the school department would spend $38.6 million next year, a 6.5 percent increase over the current year.

Superintendent Peter Lancia did not return a request for comment Tuesday.

Next year will be the first that property owners will feel the impact of a $27 million school renovation project. Voters in 2016 approved a bond for a renovation and 12 new classrooms at Saccarappa Elementary School, as well as 12 new classrooms at Westbrook Middle School. That project was expected to add about 80 cents per $1,000 of assessed property value to the tax rate, though city and school officials planned to spread that impact over multiple years.

The increases in the municipal and county budgets were smaller.

The municipal portion of the budget would be $28.1 million. Despite that 5 percent increase from the current year, City Administrator Jerre Bryant said the city also found new revenue sources. For example, the cost of expanded Metro bus service will be paid for with revenues from a tax increment financing, or TIF, district. A federal grant will pay for 75 percent of the cost of eight new firefighters.

“We’ve had a couple areas where we have had significant increases, but we have also been able to match that up with offsetting revenues,” Bryant said.

The county tax demand for Westbrook next year will be $1.4 million. That number is 3.7 percent higher than the current year.

One year ago, when the City Council was reviewing the proposed budget for the current year, it was faced with a similarly high property tax increase of 6 percent. However, unexpected revenues brought the budget more in line with previous years. The budget now will go to the finance committee of the City Council. The members will meet several times in April to review the proposed budget. A first reading and vote is scheduled for the City Council meeting on April 30, and a second reading and final vote is scheduled for May 7. The school district budget will go to voters for a referendum on June 12.

The entire budget proposal is available online at: westbrookmaine.com/DocumentCenter/View/1203.

Megan Doyle can be contacted at 791-6327 or at:

[email protected]

Twitter: megan_e_doyle

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