Falmouth School Board OKs 5% budget hike

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FALMOUTH — The School Board unanimously sent the fiscal year 2016 budget to the Town Council on Monday night, with the hope that additional revenue might be coming.

The budget is up nearly 5 percent, to nearly $33.3 million. The school portion of the property tax rate would increase to $11.08 per $1,000 of assessed value, compared to this year’s $10.44, or an increase of $64 for every $100,000 worth of assessed value.

Superintendent of Schools Geoff Bruno said he is “cautiously optimistic” that two pieces of legislation being debated by the Legislature could add between $400,000 and $800,000 in revenue.

Finance Director Dan O’Shea said it would be better for the board to keep at least some of that money in the fund balance, rather than try to use it to reduce the property tax rate, because the district already commits a substantial amount each year from the fund balance to do that.

O’Shea said on Tuesday it’s unlikely the state budget will be figured out before the town’s public referendum on the school budget in June.