Lisbon council sends $18.1 million school budget to voters


The Lisbon Town Council adopted the FY 2021-22 school budget in a meeting on Tuesday. Screengrab

The Lisbon Town Council unanimously approved a $18.1 million school budget on Tuesday that will be voted on by residents June 8.

The school budget represents a $448,345 increase over the previous year’s budget and, according to Superintendent Richard Green, that translates to a $232,000 or about 3% tax increase for the 2021-22 budget.

According to town documents, if approved by voters, tax payers would contribute about $7.79 million to the school budget.

The school budget would add about 36 cents to the tax rate of $23.10 per $1,000 of property value, according to Town Manager Diane Barnes.

Barnes said that when factoring in the municipal and county budgets, the overall projected tax rate for 2021-22 is a decrease of about 25 cents.

This would put the rate at about $22.85 per $1,000 of property value, meaning the tax bill for a $200,000 home would decrease from $4,620 to $4,570, or about $50.

The school budget is down from the original proposal in February, when The Times Record reported a proposed $18.3 million budget that would have raised local taxes by $680,990, or about 9%.

According to Superintendent Richard Green, the primary reason for the almost $450,000 decrease in tax impact was from an offset of additional federal relief funding.

Green added that the primary drivers for this year’s budget include salary and benefit increases.

In 2020, Lisbon’s $17.6 million dollar school budget, which raised taxes by 2%, was approved at the poll 1,056 to 746.

Back in 2015, however, Lisbon faced public opposition to the then roughly $15 million school budget, which voters shot down, indicating on the ballot that it was too low.

In addition to adopting the school budget, Lisbon town councilors continued to workshop the municipal budget on Tuesday, which now sits at $9,191,031 – again a significant decrease from the original proposal in March.

According to Barnes, the current proposal represents a 2.9% increase from last year, but again due to an increase in revenues, she anticipates an overall 25 cent decrease in the tax rate.

The major drivers on the municipal side are primarily the reinstatement of positions that were not funded in the 2020-2021 budget due to COVID-19, Barnes added.

The county budget sits at $803,220 with a tax rate impact of 5 cents.

Going forward on the municipal side, the town has scheduled a public hearing for June 22 at 7 p.m.

The school budget referendum will take place at the Lisbon High School gymnasium and polls are open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Absentee ballots are now available and can be obtained by phone or in person at the town office.

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