Category Archives: Budgets

Medfield’s ARPA Allocation = $3.796m.

Medfield ARPA Allocation 

Direct (Treasury) $1,355,981.00 

Norfolk County $2,440,866.29 

                 Total $3,796,847.29 

                          Total Grant          Less 3% Admin Fee        Medfield Share 

Norfolk County $2,516,357.00     $75,490.71                       $2,440,866.29

Gov signs budget – town looks to get $267K more this year from state

See the town Cherry Sheet for FY2023 here – https://dlsgateway.dor.state.ma.us/reports/rdPage.aspx?rdReport=CherrySheets.CSbyProgMunis.MuniBudgFinal

FY2022 we got $8,116,943 from the state

FY2023 we will get $8,384,126, or $267,183 more (a 3.2% increase).

This alert below came this afternoon from the Massachusetts Municipal Association –

Governor Signs FY23 Budget  

Supports Key Municipal Aid and School Funding   

And Offers Amendment to Important Retiree COLA Language   

Please Thank Your Legislators and Ask Them to Accept  the Governor’s Amended COLA Language  
July 28, 2022  

Dear Osler L. Peterson,  

This morning, Governor Baker signed a $52.7 billion budget, including each of the increases in municipal and school aid accounts for which the MMA has prioritized throughout the process.   

The Governor also signed 153 of 194 of the outside sections of the budget and has returned a key section with an amendment for the Legislature’s consideration.   

As enacted by the Legislature, Outside Section 134 would allow retirement boards that have accepted Section 103 of Chapter 32 to award a cost-of-living-adjustment of up to 5% to retirees, rather than the current limit of up to 3%.   

In response to concerns voiced by the MMA, specifically related to the lack of decision-making authority on a potentially large expense for municipal budgets, the Governor returned this section with amended language (for the full language, see Attachment S, Returned with Amendments, Section 134). The amended language provides that if a local or regional retirement board chooses to adopt this provision, municipalities would have the authority to accept or reject its decision. There is further clarifying language regarding situations that involve a county retirement board with more than one participating municipality. For those regional systems, 2/3rds of the participating municipalities would need to approve the higher COLA. In addition, the Governor’s amended language would provide important clarification that the potential 3-5% increase would apply only on the approved base, not the entire pension. This would eliminate some lack of clarity in the current language. The Governor’s amendments would provide critical municipal oversight for this costly provision.    

The provision now returns to the Legislature, which can accept the Governor’s proposed amendment, insist on its original language, or propose different language. If the Legislature insists on its own language, or proposes different language, the provision would return to the Governor, who would have 10 days to sign or veto the provision. With formal legislative sessions ending on July 31, a veto after that date would kill the provision, an outcome that is unlikely, since the Governor is likely to support a 5% COLA for state retirees.

Please contact your legislators and ask them to accept the Governor’s amendments to Section 134 (via Attachment S).  

Please also be sure to thank your legislators again for the important and significant increases in key accounts for municipal and school funding, all of which were included in the budget signed by the Governor:  

$63 million (5.4%) increase in Unrestricted General Government Aid, for a total of $1.23B, which is $31.5 million more than originally proposed Nearly $6B for Chapter 70 School Aid, Including doubling the increase for minimum aid districts from $30 per pupil to $60 per pupil

$440M for Special Education Circuit Breaker, an increase of $67M from FY22

$5.5M for Rural School Aid

$45M for PILOT for state-owned land, a 29% increase from FY22

$20M transfer from FY22 surplus for the Community Preservation Trust Fund

If you have any questions, please contact MMA Legislative Director Dave Koffman at dkoffman@mma.org or MMA Senior Legislative Analyst Jackie Lavender Bird at jlavenderbird@mma.org.  

Please Call Your Legislators Today to  Thank Them for their Support of Key Local Accounts and Ask Them  to Accept the Governor’s Proposed Language Regarding the Retiree COLA Provision   

Thank You!!
twitter linkedin   Massachusetts Municipal Association 3 Center Plaza Suite 610 Boston, MA 02108 (617) 426-7272 | Email Us | View our website       Unsubscribe from MMA Legislative Alert Emails  
Higher Logic

MMA on state budget – more for Medfield

Email today from the Massachusetts Municipal Association –

LEGISLATURE SET TO APPROVE $52.7B FY23 BUDGET,
WITH MAJOR INVESTMENTS IN MUNICIPAL & SCHOOL AID

• LEGISLATURE’S BUDGET INCREASES UNRESTRICTED GENERAL GOVERNMENT AID BY $63M (5.4%) – A WIN FOR CITIES AND TOWNS!
• INCREASES CHAPTER 70 BY $485.2M ABOVE FY22, FUNDING THE STUDENT OPPORTUNITY ACT ON ITS ORIGINAL (PRE-COVID) SCHEDULE
• DOUBLES NEW FUNDING TO MINIMUM AID DISTRICTS TO $60 PER STUDENT
• INCREASES CHARTER SCHOOL REIMBURSEMENTS BY $89.2M
• INCLUDES $441M TO FUND THE SPECIAL EDUCATION CIRCUIT BREAKER
• ADDS $10M TO PILOT, BRINGING THE PROGRAM TO $45M
• INCLUDES $5.5M FOR RURAL SCHOOL AID
• INCLUDES $82.1M FOR REGIONAL SCHOOL TRANSPORTATION
• ADDS $20M TO STATE’S COMMUNITY PRESERVATION ACT MATCH

OTHER BREAKING NEWS: REMOTE MEETING EXTENSION BILL SIGNED INTO LAW BY LT. GOV. POLITO ON SATURDAY – Cities and towns now retain the option to hold public meetings remotely through March 31, 2023, following the same guidelines that have been in place since the COVID public health emergency was first declared. With Gov. Baker out of state over the weekend, Lt. Gov. Polito (as Acting Governor) signed the bill, which took effect immediately. MMA pushed hard for this extension, and successfully advocated against attempted amendments that would have burdened communities with unfunded mandates.

July 18, 2022

Dear Osler L. Peterson,

Last night, Sunday, July 17, the fiscal 2023 state budget conference committee released H. 5050, the House-Senate compromise budget bill. The House and Senate have scheduled formal sessions for Monday, July 18, and both chambers are expected to pass the measure at that time. The Governor will then have 10 days to approve the spending appropriations and proposed law changes, veto, or return any items with amendments. That will give lawmakers several days to consider overriding any vetoes before formal sessions end on July 31.

Following months of state tax collections exceeding expectations, the $52.7 billion fiscal year 2023 state budget plan reflects an agreement between Senate and House leaders to increase tax collection estimates for fiscal year 2023 by $2.66 billion, with $1.9 billion available for the general budget after statutorily required transfers. As a result, all key local aid accounts received the higher funding levels in areas where the Senate and House needed to resolve differences.

In a major win for cities and towns, the Legislature’s budget bill increases Unrestricted General Government Aid (UGGA) by $63 million (5.4%), a major priority pushed by MMA throughout the budget deliberations. This will double the municipal aid increase originally proposed by the Governor in January. In addition, the budget would also significantly increase Chapter 70 school aid over fiscal year 2022, bringing the total to nearly $6 billion. The budget includes a $67 million increase for Special Education Circuit Breaker, an additional $89 million for Charter School Mitigation payments, and an increase of $10 million for Payments-in-Lieu-of-Taxes for state-owned land (PILOT).

You can find the Chapter 70 and UGGA amounts for your community in Section 3 of H. 5050, beginning on page 302 of the downloadable PDF (see the link below this line).

Click Here for a Link to the Legislature’s Budget

Unrestricted General Government Aid (UGGA)
In a major win for local government, the conference committee report includes $1.23 billion for Unrestricted General Government Aid (line item 1233-2350 and section 3), an increase of $63 million, or 5.4%, over the fiscal 2022 level of funding, which is double the $31.5 million increase originally proposed by the Governor in January. Increasing UGGA has been a key MMA priority throughout the process. With property taxes tightly capped by Proposition 2½, cities and towns rely on state revenue sharing to provide municipal and school services, ensure safe streets and neighborhoods, and maintain vital infrastructure. These services are fundamental to our state’s economic recovery, success and competitiveness. Unrestricted General Government Aid is the revenue sharing program that cities and towns receive to fund essential municipal services.

Chapter 70
The Legislature’s budget would fund Chapter 70 aid at nearly $6 billion, representing a commitment to fund the Student Opportunity Act (SOA) according to the original intended schedule, a solid achievement given the initial disruption caused by COVID’s economic disruption. In addition to keeping the commitment to fund the SOA, the Legislature recognized the challenges facing 135 “minimum aid” districts that would have received only a $30 per student increase over the previous year under the budget filed by the Governor in January. MMA applauds the Legislature for doubling the minimum aid increase to $60 per student.

Special Education Circuit Breaker
H. 5050 provides $441 million for Special Education Circuit Breaker (7061-0012), which reimburses school districts for the high cost of educating students with disabilities. This amount reflects an increase of $67 million over the current fiscal year. The Student Opportunity Act expanded the circuit breaker by including out-of-district transportation, to be phased in over three years. The fiscal 2023 budget reflects years two and three of the schedule in the Student Opportunity Act, achieving full funding one year ahead of schedule.

Charter School Mitigation Payments
To address charter school mitigation payments, H. 5050 includes $243 million for charter school mitigation payments (7061-9010), which represents an increase of $89.2 million over the current fiscal year. This funds the state’s statutory obligation for charter school mitigation payments as outlined in the Student Opportunity Act, pushing the state to phase in the plan by fiscal 2023, a full year ahead of schedule.

School Transportation
The Legislature’s budget level funds regional school transportation at $82.1 million, representing a reimbursement rate of 85% of DESE’s estimated costs for FY23. H. 5050 fully funds the McKinney-Vento account for transportation of homeless students at $22.9 million, and level funds out-of-district vocational transportation at $250,000.

PILOT Funding
Recognizing the importance of Payments-in-Lieu-of-Taxes (PILOT) for state-owned land, H. 5050 increases the line item to $45 million (a $10 million increase over fiscal year 2022). This has been a key priority for many years. Low PILOT funding has created a significant hardship for smaller communities with large amounts of state-owned property, and this 29% increase is very welcome news, and will provide an important boost.

Rural School Aid
Rural School Aid (7061-9813) is funded at $5.5 million in H. 5050, providing rural school assistance to eligible towns and regional school districts. These grants will help schools facing the challenge of declining enrollment to identify ways to form regional school districts or regionalize certain school services to create efficiencies.

Outside Section – Retiree COLA Provision
Section 134 of the budget would allow retirement boards that have accepted Section 103 of Chapter 32 to award a cost-of-living-adjustment of up to 5% to retirees, rather than the current limit of up to 3%. While MMA appreciates the concern driving this provision, we opposed this section due to the potential negative impact on unfunded pension liabilities. Most communities in the state participate in regional pension systems, and do not have direct decision-making authority regarding adoption of a higher COLA. Adoption of a higher COLA, even if limited to one year, would permanently increase the pension obligations for all participating communities, requiring increased annual appropriations to fund the cost. We encourage local officials to contact their retirement boards to discuss the financial implications of adopting a higher COLA for fiscal 2023.

Outside Section – Community Preservation Act
Section 174 of H. 5050 directs the comptroller to transfer $20 million of the fiscal year 2022 budget surplus to the Massachusetts Community Preservation Trust Fund. This provision would increase the state’s match from an estimated 35% to 43%, approximately the same state match percentage as fiscal year 2022. The number of CPA communities has reached 187, and this budget item will benefit cities and towns that have adopted higher local property taxes to address environmental and housing challenges.

THE LEGISLATURE’S BUDGET IS GOOD NEWS FOR CITIES AND TOWNS
Please call your Representatives and Senators and thank them for the important and much-appreciated municipal and school investments that are included in the Legislature’s budget bill. This has been a tumultuous time for state and municipal finances, and the Legislature is advancing a spending plan that invests in communities, which is much appreciated.

If you have any questions or need additional information on any municipal aid priority, please contact MMA Senior Legislative Analyst Jackie Lavender Bird at 617-426-7272 ext. 123 or jlavenderbird@mma.org.

Massachusetts Municipal Association
3 Center Plaza
Suite 610
Boston, MA 02108
(617) 426-7272 | Email Us | View our website

Unsubscribe from MMA Legislative Alert Emails

MMA on the Senate budget

From the Massachusetts Municipal Association (MMA) with respect to the Senate taking up the state budget next week. 0

The Senate has already announced some increases in the budget as was proposed by the Governor and House. I especially hope that the legislature votes to continue remote municipal meetings, at least through 2023, and to eventually make them permanent.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Senate to Begin FY23 State Budget Debate on Tuesday, 5/24  

Lawmakers Will Decide All Municipal and School Amendments Next Week  

Please Thank your Senators for Increases to UGGA, Charter School Mitigation Payments, PILOT, and Other Key Priorities and Ask for Their Support to Build on Impressive Investments  

May 19, 2022  

Dear Osler,  

On Tuesday, May 24, the Senate is scheduled to start debating its version of the fiscal 2023 state budget (S. 4). During their deliberations, Senate members will consider more than 1,100 amendments, including many issues important to municipalities and school districts. Debate is expected to conclude by the end of next week.   It is critically important that you connect with your Senators as soon as possible and ask them to support and co-sponsor key budget amendments to support municipalities.  

When you talk with your legislators, please thank them for the many strong investments in the Senate Ways & Means budget, including doubling the increase in Unrestricted General Government Aid, doubling Chapter 70 minimum aid to $60 per student, fully funding the Student Opportunity Act, accelerating funding to fully implement the Student Opportunity Act’s charter school reimbursements a full year ahead of schedule, and increasing PILOT payments by 29%.  

The MMA has sent a detailed letter to all Senators, advocating on all major local government amendments.  

Please click here to download MMA’s letter as a PDF  

A copy of the Senate Ways & Means budget (S. 4) and all proposed amendments can be found on the Legislature’s website:  

https://malegislature.gov/Budget/SenateDebate  

Please review the MMA’s Senate budget letter and call your Senators as soon as possible to let them know how these amendments would impact your community. This is the best time to influence their support for the issues and amendments that matter most. Please thank them for their important investments and encourage support for amendments that would further aid municipalities.  

This is a quick reference to some of the many amendments highlighted in the MMA’s letter to all Senate members:  

Regional School Transportation 100% Reimbursement (Amendment #647) – Please ask your Senators to support an increase to the Regional School Transportation account (7035-0006), which is critical to rural and smaller communities. Amendment #647, would fund 100% of the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education’s fiscal 2023 projected claims, at $97 million.  

Remote Meeting Extensions (Amendment #1114) – Please ask your Senators to support Amendment #1114, to extend provisions allowing for remote participation in open public meetings, as well as remote notarization, and remote town meetings, among others, from July 15, 2022, to December 15, 2023. Massachusetts is in the middle of another rise in COVID transmissions, and extending the option for remote meetings will provide resiliency for government operations during a time of ongoing uncertainty and public health concern. This is a highly time-sensitive measure, and it makes perfect sense to include it in legislation that will get to the Governor’s Desk before the current extension expires on July 15.  

Rural School Aid and Regionalization Grant Program (Amendments #743, #704) – Please ask your Senators to support funding the Rural School Aid account (7010-0005) at $20 million, providing rural school assistance grants, with priority given to proposals that support schools and districts that have experienced significant enrollment losses, and Amendment #704, which provides $500,000 for school district regionalization grants to regional school districts, or school districts considering forming a regional school district or regionalizing services.  

Early Voting Reimbursement (Amendment #127) – Please ask your Senators to support an appropriation to reimburse municipalities for the costs of implementing early voting for state elections. Amendment #127 includes a $6 million appropriation to fund this state mandate.  

Local Opt-In for Permanent Outdoor Dining (Amendments #332) – Please ask your Senators to support this amendment to give municipalities the option to permanently extend outdoor dining options. Amendment #332 would allow restaurants to apply for local approval to expand outdoor table service.  

Chapter 70 Minimum Aid (Amendments #630, 631) – The MMA deeply appreciates the Senate Ways & Means proposal to double per-pupil minimum aid to $60 per student. This was real progress for the 135 districts that are minimum-aid-only. As you know, the MMA has consistently advocated for $100 per-pupil minimum aid, and thus we certainly support consideration of Amendments #630 and #631, which would increase Chapter 70 minimum aid to $75 per pupil and $100 per pupil, respectively. Please talk to your Senators about minimum aid.  

Community Preservation Act Surplus Funding (Amendment #834) – Please ask your Senators to support Amendment #834, which directs the Comptroller to transfer $20 million to the Massachusetts Community Preservation Trust Fund prior to sending the net surplus for fiscal 2022 to the Commonwealth’s stabilization fund. The number of CPA communities has reached 187, and this amendment would increase the state’s match from approximately 35% to 43%, about the same state match percentage as last year.  

Flexibility in Municipal Broadband Spending (Amendment #856) – Please ask your Senators to support Amendment #856, which would allow funds appropriated for closing the digital divide to be granted to municipalities seeking relief from debt incurred for the construction of broadband networks. These communities were forced to step in when the private carriers ignored their regions and left their households and businesses behind in the broadband buildout, adding costly burdens on local taxpayers.  

Shannon Grants (Amendments #942, #951) – Please ask your Senators to support Amendment #942 and Amendment #951, to increase funding for the Shannon Grant program (8100-0111). This anti-gang grant program helps cities and towns respond to and suppress gang-related activities.  

Finally, the MMA has very strong concerns regarding Amendment #810, relative to retiree cost-of-living-adjustments, or COLAs. The amendment would authorize local and regional pension boards to award a COLA adjustment of up to 5.9% to retirees in fiscal 2023, above the current 3% cap. This would very likely increase the local unfunded pension liability, and drive up costs for taxpayers. Most communities in the state participate in regional pension systems, and do not have direct decision-making authority regarding adoption of a higher COLA, and we are aware of no system that has incorporated higher COLAs into their unfunded pension liability calculations. Adoption of a higher COLA, even if limited to one year, would permanently increase the pension obligations for all participating communities, requiring increased annual appropriations to fund the cost. Please reach out to your Senators to share what the financial impact would be to your municipality.  

If you have any questions regarding any of these amendments, please contact MMA Legislative Director Dave Koffman at dkoffman@mma.org or MMA Senior Legislative Analyst Jackie Lavender Bird at jlavenderbird@mma.org.  

Please Call Your Senators Today to Thank Them for the Municipal and School Funding in the Senator Ways & Means Budget, and Ask Them to Build on This Progress by Supporting Key Amendments for Cities and Towns.  

Thank You!!    
twitter linkedin   Massachusetts Municipal Association 3 Center Plaza Suite 610 Boston, MA 02108 (617) 426-7272 | Email Us | View our website     MMA Legislative Alert Emails  
Higher Logic

Cherry sheet budget #s – Senate’s #s yet to come

FY2023 Preliminary Cherry Sheet Estimates
All Municipalities

House budget proposals give town only 2.7% & 2.3% bumps

Email from Rep. Garlick to Town Administrator, Kristine Trierweiler re House budget numbers for Town of Medfield –

From: Garlick, Denise – Rep. (HOU) <Denise.Garlick@mahouse.gov> Date: Wed, Apr 13, 2022 at 4:49 PM Subject: Medfield Local Aid Update in House Ways and Means Budget To: Kristine Trierweiler <ktrierweiler@medfield.net>

Dear Kristine,

Today, I was proud to join Speaker Ron Mariano and Chairman Aaron Michlewitz to release the House Ways and Means Committee budget recommendations. I just wanted to share with you the preliminary local aid numbers for the town of Medfield:

Unrestricted Local Aid: $1,636,170

Increase of $43,015 (2.7%) over FY22

 

Chapter 70 Funding: $6,507,474

Increase of $145,740 (2.3%) over FY22

  The next step in the process is to debate the budget before the entire House of Representatives. We plan to do this the week of April 25. It is during this time I will advocate for Medfield-specific priorities. I will follow up after the House budget process is finalized with the final numbers for FY23 as well as next steps.

Please let me know if you have any questions.

Sincerely,

Denise

 Denise C. Garlick

State Representative

13th Norfolk District: Needham, Dover and Medfield* (precinct 1 and 2)

Chair: Committee on Bills in Third Reading

State House Room 448

Boston, Massachusetts 02133

617-722-2582

Denise.Garlick@MAHouse.gov

 

MMA on the state budget – more should be due towns

From the Massachusetts Municipal Association this afternoon –

Please Urge Your Legislators to Support Key Local Government Priorities for Fiscal Year 2023  

Please Call Your Representatives and Senators Today and Ask Them To:  

• Increase UGGA by 7.3%, not 2.7%
• Increase Chapter 70 Aid Minimum Aid to $100/student
• Fully Fund School Transportation Accounts
• Fully Fund PILOT
• Pass a Multi-year $300M Chapter 90 Bond Bill  

Increase Unrestricted General Government Aid (UGGA) by 7.3%

Please ask your legislators to provide a strong commitment to revenue sharing by increasing Unrestricted General Government Aid (UGGA) by 7.3%, or $85.3 million, to bring the account up to $1.253 billion in FY23. State tax collections in FY23 are projected to grow by 7.3% above the revenue base that was used in the FY22 budget that the Legislature adopted last July. The budget filed by the Governor (House 2) only offers a far-too-low 2.7% increase, and does not reflect full revenue sharing.   Between FY15 and FY20, the state’s revenue-sharing calculation worked well, providing adequate and dependable increases for UGGA that kept pace with state revenue growth – UGGA and state revenues each increased by 19% over these years. But during the past two years, the state’s revenue forecasts have been far lower than actual collections, and this threatens to leave cities and towns behind. State tax revenues have grown by 22% in FY21 and 22, but UGGA has only increased by 3.5%.   By tying UGGA increases to the growth from the FY22 enacted budget to January’s FY23 revenue forecast, this adjustment could be made and the UGGA account would increase by a total of $85.3 million. This would more adequately reflect the last two years of unprecedented state revenue growth, while acknowledging that future year tax revenues may return to more modest growth patterns.   UGGA provides essential funding for municipalities, allowing communities to deliver core services to residents and businesses, while mitigating further overreliance on the property tax. As you know, discretionary local aid suffered disproportionately large cuts during the Great Recession, and is still nearly $150 million below fiscal 2008 levels, without adjusting for inflation.

For FY23, the MMA requests an 7.3% increase in UGGA funding levels, to a new total of $1.253 billion.  

Click Here to See the Impact that Adequately Funding UGGA with a 7.3% Increase Would Have on your City or Town  

Increase Chapter 70 minimum aid to $100 per student Please thank your legislators for their commitment to fund Chapter 70 School Aid and fulfill the promises made in the Student Opportunity Act. Because this reflects the implementation of the SOA’s foundation budget enhancements, the majority of the new funding in House 2 would go to expansion of the foundation budget, adding weight for low-income students, English Language Learners, special education costs, and school employee health benefits. Unfortunately, 135 of 318 operating districts (42%) would receive only the minimum $30 per-student increase in the Student Opportunity Act, providing Chapter 70 increases of 1% or less, far below inflation. These 135 districts would receive a total of $9.3 million in new aid, while the other districts would receive $475 million more.

Please ask your legislators to increase minimum aid to $100 per student to ensure that all districts can at least keep pace with inflation and maintain their school services.   Fully Fund School Transportation Accounts (various line items)

In mid-March, DESE will release the FY23 projected costs associated with school transportation. We know that the Governor’s budget would cut regional transportation reimbursements below FY22 levels and would significantly underfund out-of-district vocational transportation. Please ask the Legislature to use DESE’s projections when published, to fully fund these key accounts, as well as the McKinney-Vento account for transporting homeless students.

Please ask your legislators for full funding of all school transportation accounts.  

Fully Fund PILOT

MMA supports full funding of the Commonwealth’s obligations to the program for payments in lieu of taxes for state-owned land (PILOT). The House 2 proposal would level fund this account at $35 million. A report completed by the state auditor in December 2020 found that this account has not met the state’s obligation in 20 years, and that the funding for fiscal 2020 should have been $45 million.   This is a particularly important program for the cities and towns that host and provide municipal services to state facilities that are exempt from the local property tax, and we applaud the Legislature’s fiscal 2022 increase, which initiated a path to phasing-in full funding. Unfortunately, H. 2 would stall that progress.  

Please ask your legislators to make an important investment in the PILOT program and continue the commitment to full funding.

When discussing the details, please ask them to support the auditor’s recommendation to fully fund this account based on the aggregate tax method, and ask for a “hold harmless” provision to protect municipalities with reduced land values and PILOT reimbursements.  

Pass a Multi-year $300M Chapter 90 Bond Bill & Support Supplemental Funding

While separate from the annual budget process, Chapter 90 funding for local roads and bridges is a key priority for municipalities. Chapter 90 is a critical program for all cities and towns across the Commonwealth, and it needs both short- and long-term support. Chapter 90 allocations have been generally flat at $200 million since fiscal 2012, and the purchasing power of that funding has been substantially diminished. Since fiscal 2012, the real value of Chapter 90 funding has dropped by at least 42% due to construction inflation.   The MMA estimates that the current Chapter 90 bond program ($200 million) is far short of the more than $600 million annual investment actually needed to maintain municipal roads. This figure was most recently calculated as of fall 2021, so the number today is likely even higher due to additional inflationary pressures and higher costs of supplies and materials.  

Please ask your legislators to pass a multi-year $300 million Chapter 90 bond bill by April 1, so municipalities can efficiently plan projects and take advantage of the construction season from the start. In addition, with a rapidly-growing need and many shovel-ready projects, we are requesting a separate, one-time $100 million supplemental appropriation, which was first proposed in the Governor’s FY22 supplemental budget.  

Click here to see MMA’s detailed testimony on key municipal budget priorities for FY23 Click here to see MMA’s detailed testimony on Chapter 90  

Please Contact Your Legislators Today!   Thank You Very Much!

State budget – Gov.’s version – town share up $96K

From the Massachusetts Municipal Association this afternoon –





 

GOV. BAKER FILES $48.5 BILLION FY23 SPENDING PLAN
FILES A COMPANION $693M TAX RELIEF BILL
• $31.5M INCREASE IN UNRESTRICTED MUNICIPAL AID (2.7%)
• CH. 70 PLAN WOULD INCREASE FY23 SCHOOL AID BY $485M (8.8%)
• 43% OF SCHOOL DISTRICTS WOULD RECEIVE NEW AID OF ONLY $30/STUDENT
• CHARTER SCHOOL & SPECIAL ED REIMBURSEMENTS INCREASE
• MIXED RESULTS FOR OTHER MUNICIPAL AND SCHOOL ACCOUNTS
 
At 2 p.m. today, Gov. Charlie Baker submitted a $48.5 billion fiscal 2023 state budget plan, House 2, with the Legislature.
 
UNRESTRICTED GENERAL GOVERNMENT AID WOULD INCREASE BY $31.5 MILLION
Gov. Baker’s budget includes a $31.5 million increase in the Unrestricted General Government Aid account, a 2.7% increase over fiscal 2022 levels. As the MMA stated during our Annual Meeting this past weekend, a 2.7% increase is too low, and we will be working with local leaders and lawmakers to advocate for an increase that reflects the actual growth in revenues that the state is receiving. With capped property taxes and inflation running higher than 2.7%, cities and towns need a much higher level of UGGA aid to maintain essential services.
 
The Administration is calculating revenue growth using a methodology that omits a large portion of the record-setting revenue collections that the state has experienced during the past year. This way of benchmarking growth works to the disadvantage of cities and towns, and minimizes revenue sharing amounts. Fiscal 2023 state tax collections will be $2.5 billion higher (7.3%) than the tax base that was used to pass the fiscal 2022 budget last July, and $6.8 billion higher (22%) than the original FY22 projection from a year ago. The Administration is using the highest possible revenue estimate for fiscal 2022 ($35.95 billion, set less than two weeks ago), which would tie UGGA to an artificially low growth projection, even though actual growth will be much higher.
 
Click here to see the Division of Local Services preliminary fiscal 2023 Cherry Sheet aid amounts for your city or town
 
Click here to see the Division of Local Services preliminary fiscal 2023 Cherry Sheet aid amounts for regional school districts
 
OVERALL CHAPTER 70 SCHOOL AID WOULD GO UP BY $485 MILLION, AN 8.8% INCREASE – ALTHOUGH 43% OF DISTRICTS WOUD REMAIN AT MINIMUM AID ONLY
The Governor’s budget recommendation continues implementation of the funding schedules in the 2019 Student Opportunity Act (SOA) that were delayed in fiscal 2021 and then funded at a rate of one-sixth, rather than one-seventh, in fiscal 2022 to stay on track with the law’s intended implementation schedule. House 2 represents funding the Student Opportunity Act at a rate of two-sixths.
 
Fulfilling the commitments in the Student Opportunity Act, the Governor’s fiscal 2023 budget submission would bring Chapter 70 school aid up to $5.98 billion, a $485 million increase in school aid. The majority of the funds would implement the improvements to the foundation budget, adding weight for low-income students, English Language Learners, special education costs, and school employee health benefits. While this is important progress, an initial examination of the budget indicates that 136 of 318 operating districts (43%) would remain minimum-aid-only, and receive the minimum $30 per-student increase in the Act. These 136 districts would receive a total increase of $9.3 million, and the remaining districts would receive $475.8 million more. The MMA will continue to strongly advocate for minimum aid of $100 per student to ensure that all districts can at least keep pace with inflation and maintain their school services.
 
Click here to see DESE’s calculation of fiscal 2023 Chapter 70 aid and Net School Spending requirements for your city, town, or regional school district,
based on the Governor’s proposed budget and legislation.
 
This landing page will also include the preliminary fiscal 2023 charter school assessments and reimbursements.
 
CHARTER SCHOOL REIMBURSEMENTS WOULD INCREASE TO $219M – CHARTER FUNDING REMAINS A SERIOUS PROBLEM TO BE SOLVED
The Governor’s budget would increase the charter school reimbursement account up to $219 million, intended to meet the commitment in the Student Opportunity Act to fund 90% of the state’s 100-60-40 statutory obligation to mitigate Chapter 70 losses to charter schools. A portion of this $64.8 million increase would simply be a pass-through to charter schools by funding an increase in the per-student facilities amount that charter schools receive.
 
The Student Opportunity Act pledges to phase in full funding of the statutory reimbursement formula over three years, and while this plan may continue to meet that requirement, it would not fix the serious flaws in the charter school finance system. Charter schools will continue to divert a high percentage of Chapter 70 funds away from many municipally operated school districts, and place greater strain on the districts that serve the vast majority of public school children. Major problems will continue unless a true resolution of the charter school funding problem is achieved, which is a top MMA priority.
 
SPECIAL EDUCATION CIRCUIT BREAKER INCREASED TO $414M
The Governor’s budget would add $41.2 million to fund the Special Education Circuit Breaker program at $414 million, an increase of 11%. The Student Opportunity Act expanded the special education circuit breaker by including out-of-district transportation, an important enhancement for cities and towns.
 
REGIONAL SCHOOL TRANSPORTATION REIMBURSEMENTS CUT BY 5.3%
Gov. Baker’s budget submission would reduce funding for regional transportation reimbursements from $82.1 million this fiscal year to $77.8 million. This would be a hardship for virtually all communities in regional districts. Reimbursements for transportation of out-of-district vocational students remains significantly underfunded at $250,000. Increasing these accounts is a priority for cities and towns and the MMA.
 
McKINNEY-VENTO REIMBURSEMENTS INCREASED
The Governor’s budget would increase reimbursements for the transportation of homeless students from $14.4 million this year to $22.9 million in fiscal 2023. The impact of this funding level will vary from community-to-community depending on the number of homeless families that remain sheltered in local hotels and motels. The Administration has been successful in reducing the number of homeless students who are dislocated from their original district, but those communities that continue to provide transportation to many students rely on this account.
 
PAYMENTS-IN-LIEU-OF-TAXES (PILOT) LEVEL-FUNDED
The Governor’s budget would level-fund PILOT payments at $35 million, which would be a significant hardship for many smaller, rural communities with large amounts of state-owned land. This is a key account due to the major impact that PILOT payments have on budgets in very small communities, and level-funding falls short of the Legislature’s goal of phasing in full funding by fiscal 2024.
 
THE GOVERNOR IS PROPOSING APPROXIMATELY $700 MILLION TO FUND TAX CUTS
As Gov. Baker announced at his State of the Commonwealth address last night, and when he released his budget proposal today, he is proposing a series of tax cuts, many targeted for struggling residents, and others targeted toward wealthier individuals. These provisions would permanently reduce state revenues, essentially opting for tax reductions over funding for existing or new state programs. The Legislature is expected to examine these closely before making commitments. These are the main items (cost estimates are very preliminary):
 
– Doubling the tax credits for dependent care ($167 million)
– Increasing the cap on the income tax deduction for rent from $3,000 to $5,000 ($77 million)
– Doubling the maximum Senior Property Tax Circuit Breaker tax credit ($60 million)
– Reducing the estate tax ($277 million)
– Reducing the short-term capital gains tax rate to 5% ($117 million)
– Increasing the no-tax threshold for lower-wage taxpayers ($41 million)
 
PLEASE CONTACT YOUR LEGISLATORS TODAY AND LET THEM KNOW THAT CITIES AND TOWNS NEED UNRESTRICTED GENERAL GOVERNMENT AID TO INCREASE BY MORE THAN 2.7%. WITH RECORD STATE REVENUE COLLECTIONS, LOCAL AID NEEDS A HIGHER INCREASE TO FUND ESSENTIAL SERVICES IN OUR COMMUNITIES.
 
WHEN TALKING WITH YOUR LEGISLATORS, EXPLAIN THE NEED FOR ADEQUATE FUNDING FOR KEY ACCOUNTS, INCLUDING HIGHER MINIMUM EDUCATION AID AND FULL FUNDING FOR REGIONAL SCHOOL TRANSPORTATION, PAYMENTS-IN-LIEU-OF-TAXES, AND CHARTER SCHOOL REIMBURSEMENTS
 
THANK YOU!

 













 
Massachusetts Municipal Association
3 Center Plaza
Suite 610
Boston, MA 02108
(617) 426-7272 | Email Us | View our website
 
 


 
Unsubscribe from MMA Legislative Alert Emails
 

 

State local aid to go up 2.7%

The Lt. Gov. was giving her last speech to the municipal leaders this morning at the Massachusetts Municipal Association’s annual meeting. She got emotionally choked up at the end as she said goodbye to us for the last time. Tomorrow we hear from Gov. Baker, Sen. Markey, and Sen. Warren. The MMA annual meeting went from being in person to virtual (and free) in about a week. Both Polito and Baker are former Select Board members, so they are especially liked.

From the Massachusetts Municipal Association –

  Breaking News from the MMA  


At MMA Annual Meeting, Lt. Gov. Polito announces 2.7% local aid increase in FY23 budget proposal

Speaking to 500 local leaders from across the state this morning during the virtual MMA Annual Meeting, Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito announced that the fiscal 2023 state budget the administration plans to file next week proposes to increase Unrestricted General Government Aid by $35.1 million, or 2.7%.

The increase would match the consensus state revenue growth forecast announced last week, but the MMA is pointing out that the forecast fails to account for record-breaking tax collections in fiscal 2021 and so far in fiscal 2022. …

HOUSE BUDGET COMMITTEE ANNOUNCES $3.65B SPENDING PLAN FOR ARPA AND STATE SURPLUS  

From the Massachusetts Municipal Association this afternoon –

HOUSE BUDGET COMMITTEE ANNOUNCES $3.65B SPENDING PLAN FOR ARPA AND STATE SURPLUS  

October 25, 2021  

Dear Osler Peterson,  

Today, the House Committee on Ways and Means announced a $3.65 billion spending plan that draws from two revenue sources: the state’s multi-billion dollar fiscal 2021 surplus and its allocation from the American Rescue Plan Act’s State and Local Coronavirus Relief Fund.  

The House proposal (H. 4219) targets seven major categories: housing, environment and climate change mitigation, economic development, workforce, health and human services, education, and food insecurity.   House members have until 3 p.m. on Tuesday to file amendments, and debate is scheduled to begin on Thursday. After the House approves its proposal, the Senate is expected to offer its own bill in the coming weeks.  

The following are the highlights of H. 4219:  

Housing The $600 million proposed for housing programs includes targeted investments in supportive housing production, public housing maintenance, homeownership assistance, the CommonWealth Building Program, and affordable housing production.  

Environment and climate The bill includes $350 million for environmental infrastructure and development spending, with a focus on environmental justice communities. Targeted investments include Marine Port Development and Offshore Wind, environmental infrastructure projects aimed at bolstering communities’ climate resiliency, water and sewer infrastructure improvements, greening the Gateway Cities, and upgrades to state parks and recreational facilities.   Of the $350 million, $100 million would go to low-income, environmental justice and urban communities to improve climate resiliency. A $100 million water and sewer infrastructure component also prioritizes projects that support environmental justice populations and those disproportionately impacted by the public health emergency.  

Economic development With $777 million allocated for economic development, the House proposal includes a $500 million investment in the Unemployment Trust Fund, aid for the recovery of the cultural sector of the economy through the Massachusetts Cultural Council, funding for the YouthWorks summer jobs program, tax relief for small businesses, and money to help close the digital divide and assist in the resettlement of Afghan refugees.  

Workforce The bill would focus $750 million on workforce issues, including $500 million for premium pay bonuses for essential workers who worked in-person during the state of emergency, as well as funds for the Workforce Competitive Trust Fund and career technical institutes and vocational schools.  

Health and human services The bill targets relief for financially strained providers, such as hospital and nursing facilities, and investments in workforce initiatives, behavioral health programs, technical infrastructure for community health center improvements, prison reentry grants, and community-based violence prevention.  

Education The House proposal seeks to address disparities in public school facilities, including $100 million for HVAC grants to be distributed through the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education under the guidance of the Racial Imbalance Advisory Council. Additional education investments include higher education capital projects, the endowment incentive program, special education needs, and pathways to educator licensure for Black, indigenous, and people of color.  

Food insecurity The bill includes $78 million to address food insecurity, focusing on infrastructure grants.  

In June, Gov. Charlie Baker proposed his plan to spend roughly half of the Commonwealth’s State and Local Coronavirus Relief Funds, and in August, the governor filed a separate supplemental budget bill to spend a large portion of the fiscal 2021 state surplus. The Legislature passed a scaled-back supplemental budget — signed by the governor on Oct. 21 — that delayed decisions on how to spend much of the state surplus.
twitter linkedin   Massachusetts Municipal Association 3 Center Plaza Suite 610 Boston, MA 02108 (617) 426-7272 | Email Us | View our website       Unsubscribe from MMA Legislative Alert Emails  
Higher Logic