The Portland City Council is expected to again delay action on the municipal budget Monday following a request from staff members who are waiting for the Legislature to determine General Assistance reimbursement levels.

The council had been expected to vote on more than a dozen budget items Monday. The city already had postponed the vote this month for the same reason.

City Manager Danielle West is now requesting the council wait until the July 17 council meeting, according to a statement from the city Friday.

West has proposed a $261.3 million general fund budget that would raise the city portion of the tax rate by 6.1%. Voters already have approved a $143.8 million school budget that includes a 5.7% increase in the school portion of the tax rate. School spending accounts for just over half of the tax levy.

Together, West’s proposed budget and the school budget would result in an overall tax rate increase of about 5.9%, or $300 on a home valued at $375,000.

The council’s finance committee is recommending a slightly higher city budget of $261.5 million that would result in a 6% overall tax rate increase or about $304 on a home valued at $375,000.


Some city councilors also have submitted proposed amendments to the budget to be considered, including a proposal from Councilor Anna Trevorrow for an additional $175,000 for the city’s newly formed clean elections fund.

In her budget proposal unveiled in April, West wrote that it includes the assumption the state will increase the amount of reimbursement to municipalities for General Assistance costs from 70% to 90% or include one-time funding, as was done last year, to help offset increased GA costs.

“If we do not secure one of these funding sources, we will need to make cuts to core municipal services or push our municipal tax rate increase up to at least 10.4% or more,” she wrote in her budget proposal.

Earlier this month, West said that the city was still waiting to find out what help the state will be able to offer.

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