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Cumberland faces 4.5% budget increase, 3% tax hike

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Cumberland faces 4.5% budget increase, 3% tax hike

CUMBERLAND — The town's total budget – including municipal, county and school expenses – could rise nearly $985,000 to $22.9 million next year, an increase of nearly 4.5 percent.

The current tax rate of $16.55 per $1,000 of property valuation could rise next year to $17.05, an increase of approximately 3 percent. School costs would account for 35 cents of the 50-cent increase, Town Manager Bill Shane said.

Shane noted that Cumberland's gross budget increase is being offset by about $343,000 of new value, resulting in a nearly $642,000 net increase.

The Town Council plans to hold a public hearing on the fiscal year 2014 municipal budget Monday, March 25, and may vote on the municipal spending plan that night.

Cumberland's assessment to School Administrative District 51 – where it partners with North Yarmouth – accounts for most of the increase. That expense could rise 5.29 percent, to $13.9 million, Shane said last week.

The municipal spending plan is projected to increase to $8.4 million, a nearly $263,000 hike. The capital improvements portion accounts for the bulk of the increased town spending; the operating side of the municipal budget would increase just half a percent. Cumberland's road paving program constitutes most of the nearly $238,000, or 2.72 percent, capital expenses hike.

Cumberland County taxes could reach nearly $666,000, an increase of 6.78 percent.

The March 25 Town Council meeting will be held at Town Hall at 7 p.m.

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