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Portland Will Use Extra State Money on Tax Relief, Custodial Staff

John Phelan
Wikimedia Commons/public domain

The city of Portland will use more than $6 million in extra state money to offset property tax increases and help pay off future debts.

The additional funds come from the recently passed state budget bill which increases the state's share of education spending to 55%. Several districts, including Portland, are using some -- or all -- of that money to decrease property taxes.

Portland Superintendent Xavier Botana says about a quarter of those funds will be used to eliminate any tax increases in this year's budget.

"And so having this windfall now allowed us to be able to put that into the budget, and not have that show up as an increase in the tax obligations," Botana says.

The district is putting another $3.4 million into a relief fund to help offset debt payments on a $64 million four-school renovation bond passed in 2017.

"By setting up this reserve, we're hoping to be able to just mitigate those increases, so that they don't result in large tax increases in the coming years," Botana says.

The city will also spend $1.3 million to cover salaries of custodial staff, which had been paid for using federal coronavirus relief funds.

Statewide, schools received more than $180 million in additional school funding from the recently passed budget.