Cumberland-North Yarmouth school budget could grow 3.8%

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CUMBERLAND — The School Administrative District 51 budget could increase $1.15 million next year, or 3.78 percent, to $31.5 million.

The Cumberland-North Yarmouth district’s proposed fiscal 2014 spending plan, which will have two public votes in June, was unveiled at Monday’s SAD 51 Board of Directors meeting.

Included in the increase is more than $415,000 in costs being shifted to the school district from the state to fund employees covered under the state retirement system. While the state and employees have previously contributed to the funding, Gov. Paul LePage is now calling for school districts to pick up the state’s share.

Without that shift, the district’s budget would only be increasing 2.41 percent, according to SAD 51 Finance Director Scott Poulin.

Revenues offsetting expenses include $500,000 from the current and previous fiscal years that consists of money either not spent or saved; nearly $209,000 in debt from Chebeague Island, which seceded from SAD 51 and Cumberland in 2007; $35,000 in miscellaneous revenue, and $11.3 million in state subsidy.

The resulting $19.5 million to be raised comes from Cumberland and North Yarmouth taxpayers.

Cumberland, which comprises about 71 percent of the district’s total combined valuation, could be assessed $13.9 million, an increase of 5.29 percent. North Yarmouth, which makes up about 29 percent of the valuation, could be taxed $5.7 million, an increase of 3.4 percent.

The increases would result in a tax rate increase of 35 cents per $1,000 of property valuation, or 2.1 percent, in Cumberland; a home valued at $300,000 could see an approximately $105 tax bill increase.

North Yarmouth, which is undergoing a revaluation this year, could see a 40-cent increase in the tax rate, or about 2.5-3 percent, resulting in a $120 tax bill hike on a $300,000 home.

The proposed budget calls for no cuts in staff.

A School Board budget workshop will be held at the Greely High School library Saturday, March 23, at 9 a.m. A School Board and administrators budget meeting will be held at the same place Monday, March 25, at 7 p.m.

The School Board on April 1 is scheduled to send the budget to an April 11 public hearing. The board will ratify the budget on May 6. All three meetings will be held at the high school library at 7 p.m.

The district budget vote will be held at the Greely High School gym at June 6 at 7 p.m., followed by the district budget validation referendum on June 11.

Alex Lear can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 113 or Follow him on Twitter: @learics.

A Maine native and Colby College graduate, Alex has been covering coastal communities since 2001, and currently handles Bath, Topsham, Cumberland, and North Yarmouth. He and his wife, Lauren, live in the Portland area, and Alex recently released his third album of original music.