Staff Writer

Though Moscow is the smaller town, it turned out more than twice the number of Bingham voters in referendum voting on Tuesday to change the percentage each town pays toward part of the school district budget.

Moscow voted 120-2 to shift slightly more of the cost onto Bingham, while Bingham voted 18-38.

The final tally of 138-40 means additional local money raised in School Administrative District 13 will be determined by a formula based 60 percent on property valuation and 40 percent on student population, easing by a small amount how much Moscow pays each year.

Moscow first selectman Donald Beane said he was impressed by the turnout and proud to “go in united.”

The change came about after Moscow residents threatened in August to secede from the district because they pay nearly three times what Bingham residents pay per student.

Residents from both towns then decided to figure out how to change the way the communities share the cost of teaching their roughly 240 students.

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.

It will change to the 60-40 split when the district’s new fiscal year starts July 1, Superintendent Virginia Rebar said.

She said the vote is “in keeping with the consensus reached by those who worked so hard on the cost sharing committee.”

Erin Rhoda — 612-2368

[email protected]

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