For three years, the RSU 38 budget has resulted in a significant increase in the property tax obligation from its four local towns, Readfield, Wayne, Mount Vernon and Manchester.

This year the increase will be $1,380,000, which translates to $300 for every $150,000 of assessed property. With a significant state budget shortfall already predicted next year, these increases will be in place indefinitely.

The school board has cut $353,000 from the $15,725,000 total budget and says that is all it can cut.

School districts across the state have made whatever cuts needed to minimize the burden on local taxpayers by doing whatever is necessary, including closing schools not filled to capacity.

Diminished subsidies from the state and federal government make the job of funding education difficult, but it is the reality of the times and is not going to change any time soon.

Taking these large sums of money from the private sector in a consumer-driven economy such as Maine’s makes the problem worse by restricting spending, therefore limiting state tax revenues and adding to already high unemployment.

The best thing we can do for this next generation of young Mainers is to give them the same strong economy we all benefitted from with access to good jobs, buying and owning homes that grow in value and a promise of lifetime financial security.

Voting down this budget will not only help do that but also will set a good example for our children: We can’t have everything, everything comes with a price and, most of all, we have to live within our means.

Voting is 7 p.m. Wednesday at the high school gym.

David Hepfner

Readfield

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