The Topsham-based school’s budget would raise taxes by 2.8 per cent

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The Maine School Administrative District 75 School Board will meet May 19 at Mt. Ararat High School to consider a $49.6 million budget for the next school year that would raise taxes by about 2.8 percent .

Residents of MSAD 75 towns – Topsham, Bowdoin, Bowdoinham and Harpswell – will vote on the proposed budget in a referendum on June 14.

The school board approved its new budget at a meeting on April 14. The budget would cover the upcoming fiscal year from July 1, 2022 to June 30, 2023, with a spending plan of nearly $49.6 million. The 2023 budget has increased by $2.3 million, resulting in a 2.8% increase in taxes for residents of Topsham, Bowdoin, Bowdoinham and Harpswell.

“Generally, I believe the proposed budget at this time is one that we have diligently tried to keep as soft as possible,” said school board vice president Frank Wright.

Salaries and benefits for school employees make up 80% of the 2023 budget. The school board has indicated that there will be a 4.2% cost increase for employee health insurance plans and a decrease 1% for dental care.

The transportation budget for 2023 included $120,000 to replace seven school buses, which will be paid for over 5 years, with an interest rate of 3.25%. By replacing the buses for 2023, the school board said it could avoid the repair and rental costs of a previous budget proposal.

A volatile energy market has also forced increases to the 2023 school budget, the school board said.

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MSAD 75’s transportation fuel budget will increase by $65,000, with an additional $75,000 increase in its natural gas, propane, and additional utilities budget.


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