Residents of Moscow and Bingham will vote Tuesday on whether to change the percentage each town pays toward part of the school district budget.

After Moscow residents threatened in August to secede from School Administrative District 13, people from both towns decided to sit down with a mediator to see how they could change how the communities share the cost of teaching their roughly 240 students.

People in Moscow pay nearly three times what Bingham residents pay per student.

The group devised a proposed solution to shift slightly more of the cost onto Bingham. The proposal has been approved by the school board and discussed at a public hearing.

Residents will have final say when they vote from 1-7 p.m. Tuesday at Bingham’s Quimby Middle School and the Moscow Town Hall.

Every year, the state requires districts to raise a certain amount of money to run their schools. The districts can then choose to raise more money locally. Though the additional local dollars are only a small portion of the overall budget, districts can control the percentage each town pays.

In SAD 13, the additional local money is determined by a formula based 70 percent on property valuation and 30 percent on student population.

If the proposed change is approved by voters, the formula would be based 60 percent on valuation and 40 percent on student population.

Moscow has a low student population and high property valuations, so the change would slightly ease the town’s financial burden, school board members and town officials have said.

In terms of additional local money this school year, Bingham is paying $104,550, and Moscow is paying $115,270. If the 60-40 split were in place, Bingham would be paying $110,050, and Moscow would be paying $109,760, according to information provided by the district.

Most of what the towns contribute toward the district’s budget each year is based on state-decided property valuation. This year Moscow is contributing $766,062 to the school district’s budget, paying $10,944 per Moscow student. Bingham is contributing $539,317, paying $3,852 per Bingham student.

Erin Rhoda — 612-2368

[email protected]