Brunswick Town Hall. File

Brunswick is weighing a $75 million budget, one that would increase the town’s property tax rate by about 6.3 percent.

The tax rate would increase from $20.37 to $21.65 per $1,000 of property value, meaning the tax bill for a $200,000 home would increase by $256, to about $4,330 in total. By comparison, in Bath the property tax rate is $20 per $1,000, in Lewiston it is $27.54 per $1,000 and in Freeport it is $14 per $1,000.

Town Manager John Eldridge presented the draft budget for the next fiscal year during a council meeting late last week.

For the proposed municipal budget, the net property tax increase would be just over $879,000, bringing the property tax rate up by 1.46%. For the proposed school budget, the net property tax increase would be just over $2.68 million raising the rate by 4.92%.

“It is important to note one of the biggest drivers of this (school) budget is the decrease in General Purpose Aid from the state,” Superintendent Phil Potenziano wrote in an email. “Before we even began the budget cycle, we had a reduction of $870,704.96.”

The school district recently received a notice from health insurance providers, which will likely result in an additional $243,000 reduction from their budget, which would bring the school budgets property tax rate to 4.42%.

Additional budget drivers include pre-K expenses, bus payments, special education, and school technology, among others, Potenziano said.

“The (municipal) budget restores funding to items that were reduced in last year’s budget due to anticipated budgetary impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic,” wrote Eldridge in a letter to the council.

According to the letter, the major drivers in the municipal increase include personnel, paving, road and sidewalk rehabilitation, capital reserves and fire hydrants.

“There is a lot of things that transpire between now and adoption,” said Eldridge, noting that additional information that comes to light could easily alter current proposals.

The school department is scheduled to present its budget to the council on Thursday.

The town will host a public hearing on the proposed budget at an April 20 council meeting. After four other workshops and meetings, the council is scheduled to vote to decide whether to adopt the budget on May 5, while a June 8 will determine the fate of the school budget.

To view the full municipal budget proposal, visit brunswickme.org.

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