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Prior to the pandemic, Town departments were seeing an increased demand for services that were difficult to address with available revenue. In response, the Town began developing a long-term financial management plan to identify new sources of revenue, assess service needs, and prioritize capital infrastructure investment – while being mindful of the cumulative impact on taxpayers.
As stated in the Select Board’s Report in the 2021 Town Meeting Warrant, the Town currently lacks means to fully fund the budget beyond FY22. The FY22 budget was balanced by using approximately $5 million in one-time funds, including COVID-related federal funds, that will not be available to the Town in the long term.
Municipal and school leaders are working together to assess future needs, explore additional revenue opportunities (including consideration of a Proposition 2½ operational override), and identify ways to sustainably fund the budget going forward.
To this end, the Town Administrator established a six-member Sustainable Budget Task Force to develop options to facilitate a sustainable five-year Financial Forecast for FY23 through FY27 for the Town. “Sustainable” means a financial forecast that uses realistic assumptions for revenue and expenditure growth that allow the Town to 1) provide services that meet residents’ expectations, and 2) meet ongoing expenditure obligations through regularly occurring revenues.
The Task Force will report out progress to the Town Administrator and Select Board on a monthly basis and aims to present its findings by mid-January 2022.
The Task Force welcomes questions, comments, and concerns about its work. Please submit feedback using the Sustainable Budget Task Force Feedback Form