On Nov. 8, voters in the RSU 16 area will be voting on a budget for the fourth time. The proposed budget will decrease the property tax in Mechanic Falls, will increase the Poland tax rate minimally, and have a more substantial increase in Minot. This is due incremental implementation of the funding formula
In order to bring Minot to a zero tax increase, the budget would be decimated by decreasing it about $300,000. This would hurt the education of students. Their education is already suffering by reduced opportunities in programs offered to them.
Some argue that pay raises should not be granted to the staff because some citizens have not received a raise. Using that logic, it could always be argued that if a single person or small group doesn’t get a raise, then no one should.
Pay raises are necessary to retain and attract qualified staff. The RSU has lost highly qualified teachers to other districts which have a higher pay scale and better programs to help students.
None of us want to pay more taxes than necessary. We all want students to receive an education that will prepare them to go out into the world and be able to earn a reasonable living. Sometimes, increases are necessary.
Last year, federal stimulus funds minimized the amount funded through property taxes. Those funds are no longer available and now have to be raised through property taxes.
We must vote yes on the RSU 16 budget.
Stan Tetenman, Poland