High school taxes to rise

BAR HARBOR — Next year’s Mount Desert Island High School budget contains a 2.25 percent increase, which means slightly more in taxes for most MDI property owners. For those in Southwest Harbor, taxes to support the high school actually may go down.

The high school board Monday night approved a budget of just over $10.2 million for 2016-2017, an increase of 4.9 percent over the current year’s budget.

But due in part to projected revenue increases, including $180,092 more in tuition payments from off-island towns that send students to MDI High, the overall assessment for the four MDI towns will go up only 2.25 percent.

The tax increase will be $6.67 per $100,000 of property valuation in Mount Desert, $3.71 in Bar Harbor and $2.07 in Tremont. In Southwest Harbor, next year’s high school budget will reduce tax bills by $4 per $100,000 of property value.

The four towns’ annual high school assessments are based on a combination of the percentage of students that each town has enrolled at the high school and an average of each town’s total tax valuation over the previous three years. The assessment formula gives twice as much weight to the tax valuations as to the enrollment figures.

Salaries and benefits, which total $6.2 million, account for 60 percent of next year’s high school budget.

Residents of the four MDI towns will have an opportunity to vote on the budget at a meeting at the high school April 6.

Dick Broom

Dick Broom

Reporter at Mount Desert Islander
Dick Broom covers the towns of Mount Desert and Southwest Harbor, Mount Desert Island High School and the school system board and superintendent's office. He enjoys hiking with his golden retriever and finding new places for her to swim. [email protected]

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