Tax Relief

College board plans to make use of $ 6.2 million for tax breaks, detention cash and debt servicing

Portland City Council has given the Board of Public Education the go-ahead to provide additional $ 6.2 million state aid for the 2021-2022 school year for tax breaks, custody salaries, and the establishment of a debt servicing fund.

The additional $ 1.49 million used as tax break means taxpayers will not receive a tax increase to fund the city’s city and school budgets this year. Just over $ 3.4 million will go into a debt service fund to renovate Lyseth, Longfellow, Presumpscot, and Reiche elementary schools. The remaining money – $ 1.3 million – will cover detention costs funded from federal coronavirus aid for the 2020-2021 school year.

“The way we have allocated these funds puts the district in good financial shape for several years,” said Finance Committee Chair Anna Trevorrow.

The additional $ 6.2 million for the district’s 2021-2022 school year of $ 125.2 million is Portland’s portion of the state’s $ 187 million supplementary budget for K-12 education.

The additional funding increases the state’s share of statewide school funding for the first time in Maine’s history to voter-mandated 55 percent.

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