LISBON — Lisbon voters head to the polls Tuesday to weigh in on Lisbon School Department’s proposed $16.8 million budget for 2019-20.

The spending plan could increase Lisbon property taxes by $386,434 or 2.5%, according to Lisbon Town Manager Diane Barnes.

For a home valued at $200,000, the tax bill would increase $132 from $4,968.

Barnes stressed that this would be a worst-case scenario. 

While the town’s proposed 2019-20 budget still hasn’t been finalized, the current proposed spending would increase taxes approximately another 2.5%, or $382,549.

Combined with the Androscoggin County tax increase of $41,633, the tax rate could increase $1.40, from $24.84 to $26.24. That’s a $280 tax bill increase for the owner or a home valued at $200,000. Barnes stressed this is just an estimate assuming factors at the state level are unchanged.

Barnes expects some revenue streams will increase next fiscal year, including the town’s overall assessed value, which would drive down that estimated tax rate increase.

The Lisbon Town Council will hold a public hearing on its proposed spending June 25.

At the polls Tuesday, Lisbon voters will decide if they want to continue voting to ratify the school budgets once they are adopted by the town council for another three years. It’s a question the town is required by statute to put out to voters.

Voters will also decide if they want to consolidate the town’s two voting districts into one.

Town Clerk Twila Lycette said if voters support the change, starting in November, all town council candidates would be elected as at-large councilors.

Most years there are three openings on the council, she said. In those years, the three candidates with the most votes are elected to the council. Currently, candidates can only run for open seats within the voting district in which they live, or for an at-large position. The voting districts were created in 2006 when the town switched from a town meeting to a town council form of government.

On Tuesday, voters in District 2 were to vote for a new councilor to fill the unfinished term of Kris Crawford, who stepped down from the council earlier this year. His term expired in November.

However, no candidates stepped forward to run.

Lycette said there was a Lisbon resident who was interested in running but didn’t reside within District 2.

Because Lisbon requires write-in candidates to declare 60 days prior to the election, no write-in candidates will be counted Tuesday. The town council will need to decide if it wants to hold another election or keep the position vacant until the November election.

Lycette said the state has already consolidated the town’s two voting wards for legislative races and asked the town if it wanted to consolidate its local voting districts as well.

All Lisbon voters will vote at Lisbon High School in the gym. Polls are open 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

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