LEWISTON — It’s not much, but it’s something. 

The Lewiston School Department will use $66,603 in additional state subsidy to offset next year’s property tax impact, likely to the tune of 3 or 4 cents per tax bill, according to Superintendent Bill Webster. 

Revised school funding figures were released recently after the state passed its budget for next year. 

Webster said Friday that the decision to use the money to reduce property taxes is in accordance with the budget articles approved this year by the School Committee and City Council.

He said Lewiston always funds the schools to at least the “minimum required local share,” a figure that municipalities are expected to fund to receive the full amount of state subsidy.

Built into the warrant articles for the past two fiscal years has been the agreement that if Lewiston receives any additional funding, the city would first use it to reduce what was expected to be raised in local property taxes. After that, the money is put toward emergency expenditures or put into a fund balance. 

Next year’s school budget is $82.9 million, an 11 percent jump from this year because of more state funding and the Connors Elementary School construction, which is paid for by the state but inflates the budget. 

The school budget will require an increase of $81 on a property valued at $150,000.

This year’s additional subsidy is small compared to this time last year, when the school departments in Lewiston and Auburn received millions more in funding. In Lewiston’s case, the district received $2 million more.  

In Auburn, the additional state funding is $59,160. Superintendent Katy Grondin said the money will be put into the department’s undesignated fund balance.

Auburn’s school budget for 2018-19 is $43.7 million, a 4.8 percent spending increase that was covered by a large increase in state funding. 

To see the school subsidy formula and funding, go to www.maine.gov/doe/eps/ or click here


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