Recommending $1,098,500 in total cuts from the Board of Education and Board of Selectmen\u2019s budget proposals for 2014-15, the Board of Finance has decided to increase local property taxes by 2% next year. A 26.5179 tax rate was proposed at the Board of Finance\u2019s mill rate meeting on Tuesday night , April 1. The finance board voted on the budget cuts and they, combined with estimated revenue and other spending assumptions, would result in a 2.0328% increase over the current 25.9896 mill rate. The mill rate is the property tax rate per $1,000 of assessed value, or 70% of market value. There was a 3.6222% mill rate increase last year, and homeowners with an average residential assessment of $545,315 saw a $513 property tax increase, according to finance board calculations. With the Board of Finance\u2019s proposed 2% increase, the average homeowner would see a property tax increase of about $288 on July 1. Education budget The finance board decided to cut the school board\u2019s proposed $79,151,125 budget by $750,000. The school board\u2019s original proposal had represented an increase of $3,011,020, or 3.95%, over the previous year. Salaries account for 59.9% of the total budget, with salary increases for existing staff being the biggest driver at $949,860, a bit less than a third of the 3.95% requested increase. Special education represents 50% of the total education budget increase. \u201cSpecial education increased 8.78% from 2013-14,\u201d Board of Education Chairman Bruce Likly explained at the March 24 public education budget hearing. \u201cThe largest part of this is based on outplacement tuition.\u201d At $616,739, outplacement tuition accounted for about one-fifth of the education board\u2019s proposed 3.95% budget increase. The Board of Finance\u2019s adjustments to the education budget reflect a 2.97% increase over the previous year, rather than the 3.95% proposed by the education board. Selectmen\u2019s budget The Board of Selectmen submitted a $1,280,916 capital budget and a $30,834,351 operating budget. The finance board decided to cut the total $32,115,267 budget by $348,500. The finance board\u2019s adjustments to the selectmen budget reflect a 2.65% increase over the previous year, rather than the 3.5% increase proposed by the Board of Selectmen. The Board of Finance had initially allocated $75,000 to be cut from the Board of Selectmen\u2019s operating budget and $273,500 out of its capital budget. At the end of the meeting, said finance board member Lynne Vanderslice, the Board of Finance decided to let First Selectmen Bill Brennan\u00a0 make a decision on how much will be cut out of operating and how much will be cut out of capital. \u201cThe total cut of $348,500 isn\u2019t going to change, but where the cuts go in the budget will be Bill\u2019s decision,\u201d said Ms. Vanderslice. Mr. Brennan will announce the selectmen\u2019s decision on Tuesday, April 22 All the different budget components will also be discussed and voted on during the second mill rate meeting, said Ms. Vanderslice. \u201cThe Board of Finance votes on the budgets piece by piece,\u201d said Ms. Vanderslice. The board plans to vote on many separate budget resolutions on Tuesday, April 22. Projected debt service for fiscal year 2015 is $9,102,764\u00a0\u2014 a 0.51% or $47,078 decrease from the current fiscal year. The Board of Finance voted to increase the $5,956,263 total estimated revenues submitted for 2014-15 by $150,000. This additional $150,000 would boost the total estimated revenues to $6,106,263, creating a 12.58% or $682,121 increase over the current year total of $5,424,142. The board also proposed a required operating funds total of $114,357,099.56 \u2014 an approximate increase of $2,382,600 or 2.13% from this year\u2019s budget of\u00a0 $111,975,500. The finance board\u2019s recommendations go to voters May 6 at the annual town meeting and ensuing referendum on May 10.