The RSU 9 proposed budget was voted upon at a special budget meeting for RSU 9 residents. In our position as the New Sharon Board of Selectmen, we are concerned that the 18.6 percent budget increase for New Sharon residents is too high and will unfavorably impact the quality of life for local families and the elderly.

With continued reductions in state funding, the RSU 9 budget increase of $1.2 million puts New Sharon’s increase at $171,291 more than 2014 – potentially bringing the current mil rate of 15.2 to 18.2 (or higher). That equates to $300 more per $100,000 of property valuation.

Although the state Legislature has discussed adding between $25 million and $50 million to General Purpose Aid for Education as part of the budget process, there is no guarantee that will happen.

The RSU 9 budget still needs to be voted upon in a referendum on Tuesday, June 9. Resident should review the material RSU 9 recently mailed out, which details the school budget and overall 3.9 percent increase from last year.

The Board strongly supports good education for our young people, but also thinks the negative financial impact of each annual increase on the backs of our taxpayers is unsustainable at best. The current school budget represents a 62 percent increase since 2010 to the residents of New Sharon.

We urge residents to vote June 9. We also urge state Representatives and Senators to support more state funding for local education.

Lorna Nichols, Travis Pond and Milton Sinclair, New Sharon Board of Selectmen

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