LEWISTON — Councilors will crack open their budget books again at a specially scheduled workshop meeting Wednesday.

“We hope to get a budget option finalized so we can come back on July 16 and do the actual budget amendment,” City Administrator Ed Barrett said. “We’ll also take a quick look at our capital budget to see if there are adjustments they want to make in that.”

The meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. Wednesday in the City Hall council chambers.

Councilors adopted their fiscal year 2013-14 budget in May, before the state budget was settled. Their original plan called for $43 million in city spending and $54.5 million for education. The overall budget would set the tax rate at about $26.05 per $1,000 of property value — a $39 increase on the tax bill for a $150,000 home.

Legislators approved that budget at the end of June and included an expected $70 million reduction in overall state revenue sharing. That’s money from sales tax and other state revenues paid to Maine cities and towns for general fund spending.

In Lewiston, revenue sharing cuts will require the council to cut $1.1 million from its spending.


Faced with several options at their last workshop — ranging from raising taxes to cover the entire amount to cutting services and not raising taxes at all — councilors said they supported modest cuts and a tax increase.

They’ll get to see what those changes might look like Wednesday.

“The two options involve reductions on the operating budget and how much they want to offset the revenue sharing,” Barrett said. “We started with a 26-cent tax rate increase when the budget was adopted. If the revenue sharing cut is fully covered by taxes, that takes the tax rate increase to 86 cents. The options we are looking at are between 56 and 65 cents.”


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