RAYMOND — School officials thought a proposed $25.9 million school budget would reduce the tax rate by 11 cents, but a closer look showed it would actually raise it by 23 cents.

The tax impact error was discovered after the 11-cent reduction was presented and publicized before the school’s deliberative session held on Feb. 8.

According to Superintendent Tina McCoy, the mistake resulted from a miscalculation of expected revenue during the budget process.

The corrected tax impact figure was explained to residents who attended the session.

The $25,902,672 budget represents an increase of $526,174, or 2.1%, over the current school year’s spending plan.

If voters reject the budget at the polls on March 10, the district will operate with a lower default budget of $25,674,781.

Increases in salaries and benefits are mostly responsible for the 2.1% hike.

According to school officials, the budget proposal includes the elimination of a music teacher position at the Iber Holmes Gove Middle School and the addition of a technology integration and data manager position for the entire district, as well as a part-time human resources assistant.

The district expects to receive an additional $311,796 from state funding, as well as incoming tuition and fees, during fiscal year 2021.

The 23-cent increase in the tax rate means a home assessed at $250,000 would see a tax increase of nearly $58.

“Our goal is to create a budget that provides students with the best education they can receive while being fair to taxpayers. Each aspect of the budget is thoroughly reviewed and discussed before we present it to voters,” McCoy said.

The total impact of the school’s portion of the tax rate will be determined after the budget and other warrant articles are decided by voters next month.

Warrant articles include a proposal to add $333,076 to reserve funds to implement the district’s capital improvement program.

Sunday, February 23, 2020