EAST MILLINOCKET, Maine — Polls will be open at the town office from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. for a referendum Thursday on the town’s proposed school budget, officials said Wednesday.
The validation votes follow a town meeting Tuesday night in which about 95 residents passed 61 warrant articles detailing the $2.6 million municipal and $4.4 million school budgets for the fiscal year beginning July 1.
Selectmen’s board Chairman Clint Linscott said during Tuesday’s meeting that it was difficult to assess the budget’s impact with the state budget still unfinished, but he estimated that the mill rate would rise from 23.3 mills to about 31 mills. That would mean owners of $50,000 properties would see their taxes rise from $1,165 to $1,600.
Despite the passage Wednesday of the state government budget, too many factors remain unclear to assess accurately the budgets’ impact on the mill or property tax rate for the new fiscal year, town Administrative Assistant Shirley Tapley said.
The mill rate is typically set in the fall. The state budget’s passage will reduce the amount of revenue-sharing funds allocated from the state to the town in next year’s budget by about $149,000, she said. In setting the budgets, town officials expected $320,000 — the amount received this year.
If voters reject the budget, the budget process would restart.