Embden residents voted Tuesday in favor of stopping an effort to withdraw form School Administrative District 74.

The referendum question passed by a vote of 294-227, ending the withdrawal process. Embden has been exploring efforts to leave SAD 74 for more than a year, after residents expressed frustration with the way school taxes are collected.

With a small student population and higher property values, the town does not receive the amount of state subsidy that other SAD 74 communities do. Property values serve as the basis for the state’s educational funding model.

For example, during the 2015-2016 school year, 111 students from Embden were enrolled in SAD 74, and the town paid a total of $1.6 million in school taxes, factoring out to about $14,500 per student. In Anson, residents paid $1.4 million in school taxes, with 331 students enrolled in the district for a cost of $4,323 per student.

A committee tasked with exploring withdrawal from SAD 74 recommended that the community stop its efforts to withdraw from the school district, citing mounting frustrations and little progress being made toward a cost-effective solution for withdrawal.

The committee chairman told the Morning Sentinel in October that after the committee presented the district with a proposed withdrawal agreement, the district’s counteroffer was not financially viable for the town.


In February, SAD 74 agreed to look into making adjustments to the collection of additional local funds — the tax revenue that is raised locally to supplement the state education formula. However, a proposal that would have lowered Embden’s tax rate and shifted some of the cost onto other towns was defeated in a ballot referendum.

Lauren Abbate — 861-9252

[email protected]

Twitter: @Lauren_M_Abbate

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