The Mountain Times

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Proctor increases school budget 4.1 percent as taxes decrease

Roughly 100 people gathered inside Proctor High School for town meeting this year. The increased school budget of $5,107,316 was passed by a landslide 69-26 votes. $250,000 of surplus funds will be transfered into a capital improvement fund.

The majority of the 4.1 percent budget increases (up $202,821 from last year's $4,904,495 budget) come from the additions of a behavioral specialist, a full-time teacher and a half-time teacher at the elementary school. At the high school, the budget was reduced by one full-time teacher.

Approval was no doubt aided by an expected drop in the school tax rate - a reduction anticipated despite the increase in the budget. The rate is expected to drop 10.53 percent, which could fall from 1.32 per $100 of assessed value to $1.19.

The 13 cent drop would mean significant savings for homeowners. A property owner with a house valued at $100,000 would pay $140 less in taxes, a $200,000 home seeing a $280 decrease.

Hughes told residents that even though the school budget had gone up, the tax rate is expected to go down thanks to a combination of factors that included adjusted common levels of appraisal.

The town budget and highway budget were also easily passed. The proposed $769,537 town budget, is down 2.6 percent from this year, and the proposed $403,957 highway budget, is up 5.2 percent.