BRUNSWICK — The town council unanimously approved the municipal budget Monday, ending a grueling budget season that required millions of dollars in cuts on both the school and town sides to help mitigate the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic. 

Both the school and municipal budgets were largely flat, but taxes will still increase 3.3% due to the Kate Furbish Elementary School debt service and the county tax. This will increase the tax rate, currently $19.72 per $1,000 of valuation, to $20.40, meaning the tax bill on a $200,000 home would increase about $136, to $4,080. 

The town budget flat funds most services, avoiding previously planned cuts to the Curtis Memorial Library and People Plus. The budget includes no layoffs but does leave several open positions vacant.

These cuts were necessitated by over $775,000 worth of lost revenue estimates caused by the coronavirus pandemic. Counted-on funds from state revenue sharing, excise tax and interest revenue have all been slashed. Officials have also allocated $150,000 from the fund balance to help offset operational expenses. 

Councilors also voted to send the roughly $42 million school budget to referendum July 14.

The school budget is largely driven by the first $1.4 million payment of the $20.3 million Kate Furbish Elementary School, which is slated to open in the fall. 

Other drivers include a $343,000  increase in staffing, supplies, equipment and contracted services for English for Speakers of Other Languages and a more than $350,000 increase for special education services.

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