Westbrook homeowners face a possible tax rate hike of 8.8% if the City Council approves a $46.8 million school spending plan along with the city hall’s $32.3 million municipal budget.

The tax rate would jump up $1.59 per thousand dollars of valuation from $18.10 to $19.69 in what Mayor Michael Foley said in a press release is believed to be the largest tax increase the city has seen.

It represents a tax increase of $636 from $7,240 to $7,876 for a home assessed at $400,000.

The council is scheduled to take a first vote on the city and school budgets Monday, May 8, with a final vote slated for May 15.

Not counting the school side of the budget, the municipality’s proposed $33 million spending plan for the fiscal year beginning July 1 is up $1.5 million from the current year representing a 4.5% increase, according to figures Foley released last week.

The municipal portion of the tax rate would decrease 9 cents from $6.02 per thousand dollars of valuation to $5.93. Taxes on a home assessed at $400,000 would drop $36 from $2,408 to $2,372 to cover just the municipal budget.


The municipal budget is based on a level of current services with “no new programs, or additional personnel for the upcoming fiscal year,” Foley said a press release.

But the city is facing increases of more than a $1 million in wages and benefits. Other increases include insurance up $160,000; utilities (natural gas and electricity) up $123,000; workers comp insurance up $103,773; and trash collection and disposal up $101,243.

Foley attributed the lower tax rate to cover municipal spending to an increase in the city’s total assessed valuations.

“We remain highly cognizant of the economic challenges facing many of our residents, homeowners and businesses,” Foley said.

But Westbrook homeowners would still face a tax hike.

The School Committee unanimously passed its $46.8 million budget, up 7.4% or $3.2 million over this year’s budget.

“The budget that was presented to the committee was the culmination of months of work done by the administration and staff, it represents a commitment to our current students and staff while also planning for future needs,” School Committee Chairperson Suzanne Salisbury said in an email to the American Journal last month.

If approved as received by the City Council, the school’s share of the tax rate would jump up 82 cents from $10.09 to $10.91 per thousand dollars of valuation.

Other drivers in the city’s tax rate increase include a Cumberland County tax increase of 7 cents from 69 cents to 76 cents and an increase in the city TIF line from $1.30 to $2.09.

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