To the editor:
One ballot question asks if the voters will approve an increase in the school budget for the upcoming year that is $1,043,769 more than this year’s budget. This would be a 7.2 percent increase in spending and require property taxpayers to contribute an additional $601,417 resulting in a possible increase of 5.6 percent or $137 for the median household valued at $146,000.
Another ballot question asks voters if they approve borrowing $8.1 million to consolidate the junior high students to the High School and Elementary School thereby closing the Junior High School. It is projected that at a 3 percent interest rate for the 20 year bond, a total of $10,651,500 will need to be repaid by property taxpayers. Based on the average yearly debt service payment of $532,575, property taxes would need to be dedicated which could result in an increase of 5 percent or $121 more per year for the median household.
While it has been noted by the Winslow School Board that there will be ‘cost avoidances’ once the Junior High has been closed, the school board has chosen not to provide their forecast of what the complete financial requirements will be after consolidation in September 2020.
I would suggest that it is important for voters to have the information and facts they need to make an informed decision on June 12. There is more information available on the Town website provided in the “Possible School Budget Tax Impact’ posting.
Winslow Town Councilor
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