RSU 39 approves $250,000 in funding returns to Stockholm, Caribou taxpayers

3 years ago

CARIBOU, Maine — The RSU 39 school board unanimously approved July 14 a transfer of more than $250,000 in state education funds to taxpayers in Stockholm and Caribou.

The money comes from Janet Mills’ most recent budget, which fulfilled for the first time a long-standing state commitment to fund public education at 55 percent. The school district will send about $238,000 back to Caribou and about $11,000 to Stockholm, with the hopes that those towns will give a break to the taxpayers who have been filling the gap in funding over the past several years.

The Caribou City Council has waited a full month since it initially planned to vote on its annual budget and broke the budget deadline set out in its charter waiting for this vote from the RSU 39 board. 

While Interim City Manager Penny Thompson has said that the money will likely not affect the bottom line tax rate, she was eager to include the reduction and finally send out the tax bills for the year. She said the city has been getting 10 calls a day from residents wondering when the tax bills will come out. 

Caribou will finally discuss its budget at its next meeting on July 26. 

As for the school board, it passed the motion with almost no discussion. Earlier this year, when setting the district’s annual budget, the district included a provision to allow it to redistribute government funds to its member towns when the time came.

Decision makers at the local level had been waiting on the legislature to approve the funding, which it finally did on June 30.