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MRPS Voters Approve School Budget

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Voters in the Montpelier Roxbury Public School (MRPS) district have passed the school budget on a second try with a combined district-wide vote of 1,045 to 650. Turnout was light in both Montpelier and Roxbury, and the two communities once again voted differently.

In Montpelier, voters approved the budget with 990 “yes” votes to 538 “no” votes. In Roxbury, voters rejected the budget with 112 “no” votes and 55 “yes” votes. The number of voters in Montpelier was 1,528, down from 2,721 on March 5, while the Roxbury voter total was 167, down from 311 on March 5.

After the March 5 defeat, the School Board approved a budget that calls for students at the Roxbury Village School to be bussed to Union Elementary School next year. That decision was not popular in Roxbury and led the Roxbury Selectboard to file a lawsuit seeking to stop the April 30 vote, but the case was dismissed.

The newly passed MRPS budget of $30,575,415 is a 4.6% decrease from the first proposed budget of $32,046,115 that was defeated March 5 by a combined district-wide vote of 1,646 to 1,386.

Under the defeated budget, the Montpelier school tax rate was projected to rise 24%, while the Roxbury tax rate was projected to go up by 12.87%. Montpelier voters rejected the first budget   by a vote of 1,507 to 1,214, while Roxbury voters approved it on a 172 to 139 vote.

The second budget is projected to increase the school tax rate by 13.84% in Montpelier and 3.59% in Roxbury. Many homeowners in both communities qualify for property tax credits that reduce their school tax bills.

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