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Cumberland town budget, tax rate could be going up

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Cumberland town budget, tax rate could be going up

CUMBERLAND — The municipal budget could rise to $8.4 million next year, an increase of about $273,000 from the current spending plan.

The Town Council discussed a draft of the fiscal 2014 budget Monday night.

The School Administrative District 51 assessment on Cumberland and North Yarmouth has yet to be determined, and depends largely on funding from the state. But the town is estimating that the non-school expenses – including a nearly $666,000 county tax, an increase of 6.78 percent – could be $9.1 million, a 3.61 percent increase from the current fiscal 2013 amount.

New property values in Cumberland will offset that increase, Town Manager Bill Shane said Tuesday.

With the operating side of the municipal budget potentially increasing just half a percent, the capital improvements portion is the bulk of the town spending plan's increase. Cumberland's road paving program makes up most of the nearly $238,000, or 2.72 percent, rise in capital expenses.

"The council is committed to continuing with the paving program," Shane said.

Cumberland's current tax rate is $16.55 per $1,000 of property valuation. Should the school budget increase 1 percent, the tax rate could increase 2.11 percent to $16.90, according to Shane. If the school hike is as much as 3 percent, a 4.23 percent tax rate increase could result, bringing Cumberland's rate to $17.25.

The Town Council is expected to hold a public hearing on next year's municipal budget March 25, and may vote on the spending plan that night.

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