LISBON — Town councilors voted unanimously Tuesday to adopt an $8.9 million municipal budget for the fiscal year starting July 1, which would cut the tax rate an estimated 50 cents per $1,000 of assessed value.

For a home valued at $200,000 that would be $100 off the tax bill. The $8.9 million municipal budget is a $323,939 — or 3.5% — decrease from the current $9.2 million budget. However, Town Manager Diane Barnes said she expects the decrease will be negated by the loss in revenue brought on by the pandemic, plus increases in the school and county budgets. She is hoping the tax rate will be flat in fiscal year 2020-21.

Last week, the council approved the School Committee’s $17.6 million spending plan, which is a 2% increase over the current budget.

The new school spending plan could increase the tax rate an estimated 23 cents per $1,000 of assessed value or $46 for a home valued at $200,000. The town’s portion of taxes for Androscoggin County is increasing $45,913 which is projected to raise the tax rate another 8 cents per $1,000 of assessed value or $16 for a home valued at $200,000.

Barnes wrote in her budget summary that she shaved $505,836 off the budget she proposed in March in response to the economic downturn as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. She has estimated the town will lose $202,322 in revenue.

The municipal budget includes $5 million for wages and benefits, which is a $153,386 — or 2.9% — decrease. A vacant position in the police department and another vacant position in the public works department will not be filled in 2020-21.

The town is also restructuring the recreation department to create an assistant recreation director position. That will create a full-time vacancy within the recreation department in September that will be filled with a part-time employee for part of the year.

A part-time assistant clerk position will be expanded to full-time.

“This budget maintains the level of service currently provided to the citizens of Lisbon,” Barnes states in the budget summary. “Increases are proposed only if absolutely necessary to keep pace with those non-controllable cost items that are critical to our service delivery.”


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