HOLDEN, Maine — Without knowing what the school department funding needs are, the town has no way of figuring this year’s property tax rate, Town Manager John Butts said.
“We don’t have the final information from the school yet,” he said Tuesday.
The draft municipal budget is $2,261,493 for fiscal year 2009-10, a decrease of $15,122, but the school budget increased, he said.
The $9,388,372 SAD 63 budget for fiscal year 2009-10 is $139,411 more than last year, but the amount residents in the district’s three communities — Holden, Eddington and Clifton — will pay for education is increasing by $269,154, or 7.48 percent, according to prior budget reports.
Those numbers may change now that SAD 63 has heard the state is sending the district more money after the Legislature recently repealed the penalty for not consolidating, Yvonne Mitchell, the school department’s business manager, said.
The new figures “just came in today,” she said Wednesday.
“We’re getting $142,561 more from the state but our stimulus funds are down $3,299,” Mitchell said. The net effect is the school district is getting “$139,262 more than they originally told us.”
This means the amounts the three towns will have to pay will be reduced, she said. The original figure was $4.8 million and the new figure is $4,945,596, she said.
The amount each community will pay is set by the state based on property values. Based on the prior state figures, Eddington residents were to pay $1,285,614, or $145,293 more for education compared with the 2008-09 amount; Clifton was to hand over $594,002, or $52,451 more; and Holden was to pay $2,312,097, or $71,413 more.
Butts said the Holden Town Council is expected to set the property tax rate at the panel’s July meeting.