Brunswick councilors adopted the 2021-22 budget during a remote meeting on Thursday. Screengrab

Brunswick officials on Thursday adopted a $75 million budget for the coming fiscal year that will increase the town’s tax rate by 3.73% — if residents approve the school budget in next month’s referendum vote.

Homeowners would see a 76-cent increase in their property tax rate, bringing the mil rate to $21.13 per $1,000 of assessed property value. This means a property tax bill for a $200,000 home would be $4,226 — a $152 increase from the current year.

Approximately $50.6 million of the budget is expected to be sourced from taxpayers.

The $43.6 million school budget represents a roughly $900,000 – or 2.11% – increase over last year’s budget. Taxpayers would be responsible for an additional $1.75 million compared to last year.

On the municipal side, the adopted $29.7 million budget is a $2.9 million dollar increase from the previous year. Of the total budget, taxpayers would be responsible for about $19 million — up $561,065 from last year.

The county budget sits at $1,664,113, a $10,400 decrease.

According to a statement by Councilor Dan Ankeles, this year’s municipal budget adds two additional firefighters and police officers, as well as personnel support for the public works and parks and recreation department.

“The budget protects cost-of-living adjustments for our librarians, makes our streetlights more efficient, replaces aging cardiac monitors for our EMTs, funds the acquisition of a bucket truck that will save all kinds of time and labor and continues to chip away at ongoing infrastructure needs throughout the town,” Ankeles added.

On the school side, budget drivers include special education, mental health and wellness, technology and infrastructure capital projects, as well as covering a $870,000 reduction in General Purpose Aid from the state.

Overall, the budget is down from the original proposal in April, which would have raised taxes by more than 6%.

Of the 13 school-budget articles voted on at Thursday’s meeting, articles three, seven, 10, 11 and 13 were unanimous. The remaining articles passed 8-1, with Councilor David Watson opposing.

The entire school, municipal and county budget resolution was also adopted in an 8-1 vote, with Watson again voting against. The tax commitment becomes effective in early September.

According to the same post from Ankeles, a new proposal from the governor that contains increases in education funding and revenue sharing could result in additional changes to the budget, potentially lowering the tax rate impact.

The school budget referendum will be held June 8 at the Coffin School. Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

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