Scarborough voters reject school budget by 311 votes

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SCARBOROUGH — Voters on Tuesday rejected a net school budget of approximately $39 million, 1,408 to 1,719. 

The proposed budget represented an approximate 8 percent increase from this year. 

1,761 voters reported the proposed figure was too high, 710 said it was acceptable, and 619 said the figure was too low.

Combined with the municipal budget for a net sum of $59.3 million, if the budget had been approved, the property tax rate would have been $15.97 per $1,000 of assessed value in 2016. Taxes would have increased by $261 on a home valued at $300,000, for an annual tax bill of nearly $4,800, compared with $4,530 this year.

Before election results on Tuesday, School Board Chair Donna Beeley said the board’s proposed budget was “very lean.” Rejection of the budget by voters will require “substantial decisions as to what will be cut,” Beeley said. 

School Board member Chris Caizzo also said Tuesday afternoon, “If the budget doesn’t pass and it continues to be a rather contentious issue, it means we’ll have to try a different approach.”

South Portland and Scarborough reporter for The Forecaster. Graduate of Western Kentucky University and the Salt Institute for Documentary Studies. Alex can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 106.