SCARBOROUGH – The Scarborough City Council, sticking to its goal of not increasing the mil rate for the fiscal year 2022 budget by more than 3 percent, approved a net budget of $ 73.5 million with a tax increase on May 26th of 2.09 percent.
A $ 300,000 home in Scarborough at a property tax rate of $ 14.58 per $ 1,000 is equivalent to a property tax of $ 4,374 as of May 2021, up 2.09 percent.
Before the budget was approved, city councils discussed that the cuts to this year’s budget were in part due to taxpayers’ money paid in by the federal government.
“Every time we turn, a new source of income has opened up for us, an experience I’ve never had,” said Councilor John Cloutier, Chairman of the Finance Committee. “It’s something to be thankful for, but also be careful going forward as sometimes the rain can stop and the tides can shift in the other direction.”
After the first reading of the proposed fiscal 22 budget on April 14, city council called for a $ 3.4 million cut to meet the target mil rate, city administrator Tom Hall said.
The only public commentator, Susan Hamill, a resident who lives in the Pine Point area, said she was satisfied with the achievement of the council’s goal of increasing the mil rate, but believed the town would help Spending should be cautious, adding that spending has increased 12 percent this year.
“Ultimately, I’m glad my taxes will only increase by 2 percent this year, but I’m very concerned about what happens when all of the free money is gone and we taxpayers are asked to make up for the difference,” she said.
Councilor Don Hamill said he believed the city needed to build budget discipline.
“I think that even in the good times, it is time to really take austerity measures,” he said. “It doesn’t seem intuitive, but that’s something I’m really committed to, and I know other councilors and the public do too.”
Councilor Jonathan Anderson called this year’s budget “restorative,” saying that decisions made on the FY21 budget had an impact on the FY22 budget.
Growth is one factor that helps increase the budget, Councilor Betsy Gleysteen said.
“It looks like things like the excise tax are definitely on an upward trend with more people in town,” she said.
Cloutier and other city councilors said this year’s budget process saw a collaboration with the school and city side.
The school budget proposed this year was approved for $ 49.9 million. Voters will have the final say in the school budget referendum, which will take place on June 15.
Scarborough community budget, unanimously approved, exceeds budget target