Category Archives: Budgets

Massachusetts Community Preservation Act (CPA)

From:

  1. Richard DeSorgher (first),
  2. Norfolk Registrar of Deeds (second – Medfield paid in $166,440.00), and
  3. the Division of Local Services (DLS) newsletter this week –

===============================================

From: Richard DeSorgher
Sent: Monday, February 1, 2021 5:03 PM
To: Osler Peterson
Subject: Community Preservation Funds

Hi Pete,

 Hope you are well and staying safe during this most trying of times, especially as a town selectmen. I know you and I talked about the importance and common sense tax-saving ability adopting the Community Preservation Act would be for Medfield, so I am attaching the notice sent to me from the Registry of Deeds about the land document surcharges Medfield has forwarded to the Community Preservation fund; that sadly Medfield is missing out on but of which 186 other communities are taking advantage.

I was appointed to the Historical Committee down here in Mashpee and I have seen the advantage of those funds. Mashpee originally contributed 3% to the CPC funds. We have since reduced it by one percent, having a one percent surcharge instead go towards waste-water treatment in the town.

 We have approved through the Community Preservation funds a new war memorial for the town veterans, a community garden, a playground,  a dog park, a pickleball court (a sport I had never heard of before moving here),funding for low-income housing, money to preserve the Mashpee Parsonage, one of the oldest structures in town, preserving early town records, purchasing conservation land (a former bog), just to name a few in the short time I have been down here.

 It is such an important and money saving act that the town has adapted. 

Towns, like Medfield, are contributing to the system but are not receiving any of the benefits and instead must fund town projects at 100% instead of having the CPC funds to help lessen the taxpayers’ load.

I know I am preaching to the choir but just wanted to send along the Registry of Deeds letter in case you did not receive one and to give some re-enforcing support now that I have actually seen it in action.

 Stay well and thanks for all you and the town government does for the citizens of Medfield.

Richard 

WILLIAM P. O 'DONNELL
REGISTER OF DEEDS
ASSISTANT RECORDER OF THE
LAND COURT
Selectman Osler L. Peterson
Medfield Board of Selectmen
10 Copperwood Road
Medfield, MA 02052
Dear Selectman Peterson,
COUNTY OF NORFOLK
COUNTY O F PRESIDENTS
REGISTRY OF DEEDS
NORFOLK REGISTRY DISTRICT OF THE LAND COURT
January 20, 2021
The fees for the Community Preservation Act are set by the State Legislature on land documents
recorded here at the Norfolk County Registry of Deeds. I thought the chart on the reverse side would be
of interest to you. It provides an illustration of the funds generated by the Community Preservation Act
(CPA) in your community based on recorded real estate filings during the 2020 calendar year.
The Community Preservation Act was signed into law on September 14, 2000. Today there are
186 Massachusetts communities that have adopted this act. 16 communities out of the 28 communities
that make up Norfolk County have adopted the law. As of December 31, 2019, fees collected for the
Community Preservation Act were increased to $50.00 for most land documents recorded and $30.00 for
municipal lien certificates. The Registry of Deeds, at no additional cost to the Commonwealth or local
communities, collects these revenues once a land document is recorded and forwards the monies to the
Massachusetts Department of Revenue on a monthly basis. The funds forwarded to the Commonwealth
are then redistributed back to the communities that have adopted the Community Preservation Act.
The Norfolk County Registry of Deeds which is located at 649 High Street, Dedham, is the
principal office for real property in Norfolk County. The Registry is a resource for homeowners, title
examiners, mortgage lenders, genealogists, municipalities and others with a need for secure, accurate,
accessible land record information. For assistance, please contact our Customer Service Center at (781)
461-6101 , or visit our website at www .norfolkdeeds.org.
1 hope you find this data to be informative and helpful. In the meantime, if I can be of assistance
to you, please do not hesitate to contact me at 781-461-6116 or by email at
registerodonnell@norfolkdeeds.org. 2020 was certainly a challenging year and one we will not soon
forget. I wish you a happy and healthy 2021. Be well. Be safe.
WPO/rg
Sincerely yours,
~//frJP~
William P. O'Donnell
Norfolk County Register of Deeds
649 HIGH STREET. DEDHAM . MASSACHUSETTS 02026
TE L EPHONE : 781 -461-6 11 6 FAX : 781-326-4246
EM Al L : registerodonnell@norfolkdeeds.org
www.norfolkdeeds.org
I] facebook.com/NorfolkDeeds ~ twitter.com/NorfolkDeeds You(g youtube.com/NorfolkDeeds
linked fm linkedin.com/company/Norfolk-County-Registry-of-Deeds ~ @NorfolkDeeds
NORFOLK COUNTY REGISTRY OF DEEDS
COMMUNITY PRESERVATION ACT (CPA)
SURCHARGES BY TOWN FOR CALENDAR YEAR 2020
TOWN TOTAL
AVON $60,260.00
BELLINGHAM $219,660.00
BRAINTREE $400,235.00
BROOKLINE $478,050.00
CANTON $269,455.00
COHASSET $147,775.00
DEDHAM $288,320.00
DOVER $86,525.00
FOXBOROUGH $199,605.00
FRANKLIN $393,210.00
HOLBROOK $125,170.00
MEDFIELD $166,440.00
MEDWAY $158,550.00
MIUJS $117,615.00
MILTON $329,310.00
NEEDHAM $389,610.00
NORFOLK $155,295.00
NORWOOD $266,565.00
PIAINVILLE $102,095.00
QUINCY $731,850.00
RANDOLPH $279,160.00
SHARON $230,840.00
STOUGHTON $288,795.00
WALPOLE $314,670.00
WELLESLEY $312,495.00
WESTWOOD $189,110.00
WEYMOUTH $620,970.00
WRENTHAM $171,120.00

===============================================

Ask DLS: Community Preservation Act – Part 8

This month’s Ask DLS features Part 8 of frequently asked questions concerning the Community Preservation Act (CPA) and CPA funding for eligible open space projects. Additional questions about the CPA will be featured in future editions of City & Town. For Part 7 of the series, see the January 7, 2021 edition of City & Town. For additional information on the Community Preservation Act see Informational Guideline Release (IGR) 19-14. Please let us know if you have other areas of interest or send a question to cityandtown@dor.state.ma.us. We would like to hear from you.

In general, what community preservation projects are eligible for funding under the CPA?

There are three community preservation project or asset categories: (1) open space (including land for recreational use); (2) historic resources; and (3) community housing. These FAQs will discuss CPA funding for projects relating to open space.

What is the definition of “open space?”

“Open space”  is defined in G.L. c. 44B, § 2 to “include, but not be limited to, land to protect existing and future well fields, aquifers and recharge areas, watershed land, agricultural land, grasslands, fields, forest land, fresh and salt water marshes and other wetlands, ocean, river, stream, lake and pond frontage, beaches, dunes and other coastal lands, lands to protect scenic vistas, land for wildlife or nature preserve and land for recreational use.”

For what purposes may CPA funds be spent regarding open space?

The CPA clarifies allowable community preservation project expenditures through its definitions which are found in G.L. c. 44B, § 2. As a result, the CPA definitions should always be reviewed when determining if an expenditure is allowable.

Acquisition, creation, and preservation – CPA funds may be spent for the acquisition, creation, and preservation of open space.

“Acquisition” is defined in G.L. c. 44B, § 2 as “obtain[ing] by gift, purchase, devise, grant, rental, rental purchase, lease or otherwise.” ”Acquire” does not include a taking by eminent domain, except as provided under c. 44B.

“Creation” – There is not a specific definition of “creation” under the CPA; however, “creation” was defined by the court for CPA purposes in the case of Seideman v. City of Newton, 452 Mass. 472 (2008) to mean “to bring into being or to cause to exist.”

“Preservation” is defined under G.L. c. 44B, § 2 as “protection of personal or real property from injury, harm or destruction.”

Rehabilitation or restoration of open space – CPA funds may also be spent for the rehabilitation or restoration of open space; provided the open space was acquired or created with community preservation funds.

”Rehabilitation” is defined under G.L. c. 44B, § 2 as “capital improvements, or the making of extraordinary repairs, to historic resources, open spaces, lands for recreational use and community housing for the purpose of making such historic resources, open spaces, lands for recreational use and community housing functional for their intended uses including, but not limited to, improvements to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act and other federal, state or local building or access codes; provided, that with respect to historic resources, ”rehabilitation” shall comply with the Standards for Rehabilitation stated in the United States Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties codified in 36 C.P.R. Part 68; and provided further, that with respect to land for recreational use, ”rehabilitation” shall include the replacement of playground equipment and other capital improvements to the land or the facilities thereon which make the land or the related facilities more functional for the intended recreational use.

“Restoration” is not defined under the CPA and we are not aware of any cases defining “restoration” in the CPA context. In the absence of such an interpretation, we look to the usual and generally understood meaning of words from sources known to the legislature, such as use in other legal contexts and dictionary definitions. See Seideman v. Newton, 452 Mass. 472, 477-478 (2008). At webster-dictionary.org, “restoration” is defined as “the act of restoring or bringing back to a former place, station, or condition.”

What are some examples of allowable CPA open space projects?

Acquisition of open space – Acquisition of real property or an interest in real property is allowable for open space purposes, including the acquisition of agricultural land, grasslands, fields, forest land, watershed land, fresh and salt water marshes and other wetlands, ocean, river, stream, lake and pond frontage, beaches, dunes and other coastal lands, land to protect scenic vistas, land for wildlife or a nature preserve, land for recreational use and land to protect existing and future well fields, aquifers and recharge areas. Again, one must look to G.L. c. 44B, § 2, to determine the definitions of “real property” and “real property interest” for CPA expenditure purposes. Under G.L. c. 44B, § 5(f), the price of an acquisition must not exceed the value of the property as determined through “procedures customarily accepted by the appraising profession as valid.” And, under G.L. c. 44B, § 12,  real property interests financed in whole or in part with CP Fund monies must be bound by a permanent restriction which conforms to the requirements of G.L. c. 184, §§ 31-34 and the city or town must own any real property interest acquired with community preservation monies. Management of the properties may be delegated by the legislative body to the conservation commission, park commission or to a nonprofit corporation created under G.L. c. 180 or nonprofit trust created under G.L. c. 203.

Acquisition of open space – Appropriation of CP funds to a conservation fund established by G.L. c. 40 § 8C is allowable; however, any expenditure of such funds remains subject to the restrictions imposed by the CPA, including the requirement that any land acquired must be bound by the restriction described in G.L. c. 44B, § 12. Therefore, the conservation commission may spend CPA funds only for those purposes that are authorized by both G.L. c. 40 § 8C and the CPA, for example, acquisition of land for open space purposes. To ensure that these requirements are carried out, the CPC recommendation and any legislative body appropriation vote should expressly include these conditions.

Rehabilitation of open space – Expenditures for rehabilitation and restoration of open space (not including lands for recreational use) are not allowable unless the open space was acquired or created using CPA funds pursuant to G.L. c. 44B, § 5(b)(2). For example, funding is allowable for “rehabilitation” of municipal forest land only if the forest land was acquired with community preservation funds. CP funds cannot be used, however, to fund any expenditure that would fall within the CPA definition of “maintenance,” even if the expenditure is required by a forest management plan. G.L. c. 44B, §§ 2 and 5(b)(2). See Part 6 of these FAQs for more information on prohibited CPA expenditures, published in the December 3, 2020 edition of City & Town.

Stay tuned for next month’s City & Town for Part 9 in our FAQ series on the CPA when we will discuss allowable CPA land for recreational use projects. For more information, see Informational Guideline Release (IGR) 19-14.

Medfield’s cherry sheet numbers

Below are Medfield’s cherry sheet numbers in the Governor’s budget released by Division of Local Services (DLS) this week. The town’s state monies will be up $335K or 3.96% over last year per these numbers.

The town’s state revenue numbers are called “cherry sheet” numbers because historically these budget numbers were issued on red paper – back when things were still done on paper.

Next in the annual state budget process the House will produce its budget numbers, followed by the Senate version, the consensus version of the two, the Governor’s vetos, any legislative veto overrides, which is what will then be next year’s budget. That process usually takes until April.

MMA on Gov’s budget

GOV. BAKER FILES $45.6 BILLION FY 2022 SPENDING PLAN

• $39.5M INCREASE IN UNRESTRICTED MUNICIPAL AID (3.5%)

• GOV’S CH. 70 PLAN WOULD INCREASE FY 2022 SCHOOL AID BY $197.7M (3.7%)

• CHARTER SCHOOL & SPECIAL ED REIMBURSEMENTS INCREASE

• MIXED RESULTS FOR OTHER MUNICIPAL AND SCHOOL ACCOUNTS

 

January 27, 2021

Today at noon, Gov. Charlie Baker submitted a $45.6 billion fiscal 2022 state budget plan with the Legislature, proposing to reduce overall state expenditures by almost 1 percent next year as the Administration plans a sustainable recovery from the fiscal and service delivery disruptions caused by the ongoing coronavirus public health emergency and the related economic recession. Similar to the recently finalized fiscal 2021 budget, the Governor’s spending plan for next year relies on temporary and one-time revenues, including emergency federal funds related to the pandemic and up to $1.6 billion from the state’s Stabilization Fund.

UNRESTRICTED MUNICIPAL AID INCREASED BY $31.6 MILLION

As Gov. Baker pledged to local officials at the beginning of his administration, his budget includes a $39.5 million increase in Unrestricted General Government Aid, tracking the expected 3.5% increase in state tax revenues. Implementing this state-local revenue sharing framework is good news in a very challenging time for state and local finances.

Click here to see the Division of Local Services preliminary fiscal 2021 Cherry Sheet aid amounts for your community

OVERALL CHAPTER 70 SCHOOL AID WOULD GO UP BY $197.7 MILLION, A 3.7% INCREASE – ALTHOUGH A LARGE NUMBER OF DISTRICTS ARE EXPECTED TO REMAIN AT MINIMUM AID ONLY

The Governor’s budget recommendation re-starts implementation of the funding schedules in the 2019 Student Opportunity Act (SOA) that were delayed last year after the coronavirus recession upset the original first year funding plan.

Fulfilling the commitments in the new Student Opportunity Act, the Governor’s fiscal 2022 budget submission would bring Chapter 70 school aid up to $5.48 billion, a $197.7 million increase in school aid. This would fund the first year of the 7-year plan to add $1.5 billion in new state funding for K-12 education. 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 look at the budget indicates that a large percentage of cities, towns and school districts would remain minimum-aid-only, and receive the minimum $30 per-student increase in the Act. The MMA will continue to strongly advocate for significantly higher minimum aid throughout the budget process.

The Governor’s Chapter 70 recommendation would make a significant change in how cities and towns can meet their required local contributions for fiscal 2022. Municipalities may use up to 75% of the total grant awarded to the local school district through the Elementary and Secondary Education Emergency Relief (ESSER) program enacted by Congress last month (also known as ESSER II) to fund a part of the increase in its local contribution requirement under Chapter 70, but not more than the increase in required local contribution in FY2022 relative to FY2021. This is a new temporary provision that is explained in the narrative and slides on the DESE school finance website provided below.

Click here to see DESE’s calculation of fiscal 2022 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 2022 charter school assessments and reimbursements.

CHARTER SCHOOL REIMBURSEMENTS WOULD INCREASE TO $143.5M – CHARTER FUNDING REMAINS A SERIOUS PROBLEM TO BE SOLVED

The Governor’s budget would increase the charter school reimbursement account up to $143.5 million, intended to meet the commitment in the Student Opportunity Act to fund 75% of the state’s 100-60-40 statutory obligation to mitigate Chapter 70 losses to charter schools.

The Student Opportunity Act pledges to phase in full funding of the statutory reimbursement formula over three years, and while this plan may 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, a top MMA priority.

SPECIAL EDUCATION CIRCUIT BREAKER INCREASED TO $367.7M

The Governor’s budget would add $22.5 million to fund the Special Education Circuit Breaker program at $367.7 million, an increase of 6.5%. 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 REDUCED

Gov. Baker’s budget submission would reduce funding for regional transportation reimbursements from $82.2 million this year to $75.9 million. This will be a hardship for virtually all communities in regional districts. Reimbursements for transportation of out-of-district vocational students remains significantly underfunded at $250K. Increasing these accounts is a priority for cities and towns and the MMA.

McKINNEY-VENTO REIMBURSEMENTS REDUCED

The Governor’s budget would reduce reimbursements for the transportation of homeless students from $13.5 million this year to $11.1 million in fiscal 2022. 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 may continue to see shortfalls.

PAYMENTS-IN-LIEU-OF-TAXES (PILOT) LEVEL FUNDED

The Governor’s budget would level fund PILOT payments at $31 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.

Please contact your legislators today and ask them to support the $39.5M increase in municipal aid and the $197.7M increase in Chapter 70 aid.

Please ask your legislators to address the serious flaws in charter school funding, increase minimum Ch. 70 aid to $100 per student, and increase funding for school transportation, PILOT payments, and ensure full funding for the Special Education Circuit Breaker

CPA base state match at 28.6%

The Division of Local Services (DLS) newsletter had the following article about the Massachusetts Community Preservation Act (CPA) base state matching monies coming in this year at 28.6% for the 3% CPA communities.

Medfield residents continue to pay in to fund the state payments to other towns, because Medfield has not adopted the CPA – i.e Medfield is leaving free state monies on the table. See https://www.communitypreservation.org/ for information.

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The map below shows all the communities that have adopted the Community Preservation Act, including those recently adopted.

FY2021 Community Preservation State Match Distributed
Donnette Benvenuto and Lisa Krzywicki – Data Analytics and Resources Bureau

On November 13th, the Data Analytics and Resources Bureau (DARB) distributed the FY2021 state match of Community Preservation (CPA) funds. The CPA trust fund receives revenues from surcharges on documents filed at the Registry of Deeds.  Effective January 1, 2020 the registry of deeds increased fees on most documents from $20 to $50 and on municipal lien certificates from $10 to $25. In FY2021, there are 176 communities eligible for the CPA state match and as of November, the CPA state trust fund recorded revenues totaling $61.1 million.

Of the 176 communities eligible, 76 have adopted the surcharge at the maximum 3% making them eligible for base distribution match of 28.6% of the local CPA surcharge committed.  They are also eligible for the 2nd round distribution (equity) and 3rd round distribution (surplus), which can result in an increased percentage match, up to 100%.  The remaining 100 communities that did not adopt the CPA at 3% are only eligible for the first-round match of 28.6% of the local CPA surcharge committed.

Number of communities eligible for the FY2021 state match by percentage adopted:

The full distribution breakdown and decile ranking by community can be found here on the DLS website.

On the November 3rd ballot an additional 9 communities voted and approved the CPA and West Stockbridge adopted it earlier in the year.  Municipal Clerks in these communities are reminded to send in the Specimen ballot, results and notification of acceptance form to DARB at databank@dor.state.ma.us as soon as possible.

List of additional communities and percentage adopted eligible for the FY2022 CPA state match in November of 2022:

For questions about the distribution or to notify us of local adoption, please email databank@dor.state.ma.us.

FY21 cherry sheet for Medfield

Division of Local Services (DLS) emailed today with the preliminary cherry sheet numbers for the Town of Medfield, which basically mirror last year –

Dale Street School public forum by SBC set for 6PM on 10/14/20

The follow up public forum by the School Building Committee, requested by the Select Board at its meeting last Tuesday, has been scheduled for 6 PM on October 14, 2020. The purpose of this additional public forum is to provide the additional “process” the Select Board requested happen before the Select Board votes on the siting decision for the new Dale Street School. Some residents stated that they felt that the process had been rushed.

To date, the Wheelock location is the unanimous choice of all member of all involved town committees – the SBC, the School Committee, and the Select Board.

Mike Quinlan, chair of the SBC, reported this past week that the MSBA indicated that it will not financially punish the town for not having voted to proceed last Tuesday. That fear was a stated concern of the SBC for asking the Select Board to vote last Tuesday.

Below is the SBC’s last email about the project, on 9/21/2020, with links to the data it developed.

DALE STREET SCHOOL PROJECT UPDATE September 2020 Edition     Grades 4-5 Alternative G1 New Construction Wheelock Site      PRIORITY DECISIONS MADE   
On August 27, 2020, the School Committee voted unanimously to select the 4-5 grade configuration. It was ultimately decided that the 4-5 grade configuration was the most viable option for the current economic climate. 

On September 16, 2020, the School Building Committee voted to recommend the selection of the Wheelock site for the location of the new school. Of the alternatives presented on the Wheelock site, the committee selected  G1 Alternative as the Preferred Schematic Option.

The School Building Committee will now recommend the Preferred Schematic Option to the Board of Selectmen on September 22, 2020 at 7PM.         View from Elm Street Entrance     View from Wheelock School Parking Lot   TOP REASONS FOR WHEELOCK CAMPUS

Continuity of educational programming of a grades 2-5 campus

Share resources and staff between Wheelock and a new Dale Street school

Allows for future flexibility with enrollment or consolidation

Avoids temporary displacement and disruption of students during construction

WHEELOCK CAMPUS CHALLENGES

Potential Traffic impacts on surrounding neighborhood

Overall Property Tax impacts

ADDITIONAL OUTREACH

Grade Configuration Information

Site Selection Information

Frequently Asked Questions

Project Schedule

Sustainability
      Upcoming Project Milestones SEPTEMBER 22 – BOARD OF SELECTMEN MEETING (Vote on Preferred Solution)

OCTOBER 14 – DRAFT PSR Submission to Building Committee Members for Review

OCTOBER 21 – SCHOOL BUILDING COMMITTEE MEETING (Vote on PSR Submission)

OCTOBER 27 – SUBMIT PSR TO MSBA

DECEMBER 16 – MSBA BOARD MEETING (Approval of PSR)   Project Resources

Link to PROJECT SCHEDULE Link to FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS Link to SUSTAINABILITY INFORMATION
Link to PROJECT WEBSITE
Link to PROJECT FACEBOOK PAGE

Questions contact us DaleStreetSchoolProject@gmail.com           Facebook Twitter Link Website     Copyright © 2020 Dale Street School Project, All rights reserved.
You are receiving this email because you opted in via our website.

Our mailing address is: Dale Street School Project 459 Main St Medfield, MA 02052-2009
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DLS on state aid this year

From DLS about the state aid for our current fiscal year that started 7/1/2020 –

Baseline FY21 UGGA and Chapter 70 Information Now Available

Dear Local Official,

I am writing to share that information about Fiscal Year 2021 (FY21) funding for Unrestricted General Government Aid (UGGA) and Chapter 70 education aid is now available on the Division of Local Services website.

While critical information from the federal government is still needed in order to finalize a full fiscal year budget for the Commonwealth, the Baker-Polito Administration and the Legislature are committing to no less than the Fiscal Year 2020 (FY20) level of funding for UGGA and Chapter 70 education aid as a baseline amount for FY21 funding.

The FY21 funding commitment also includes Chapter 70 increases for inflation and enrollment that will keep all school districts at foundation, under the law as it existed for FY20, providing an additional $107 million in aid over FY20. This increase comes in addition to approximately $450 million in new federal supports for K-12 schools to assist with educating students during the pandemic.

Please click here to view the UGGA and Chapter 70 amounts for each municipality. Local officials with related questions can email databank@dor.state.ma.us.

Sincerely,

Michael J. Heffernan
Secretary of Administration and Finance

State aid level funded

From the Massachusetts Municipal Association this afternoon –

STATE LEADERS ANNOUNCE LEVEL FUNDING FOR MAJOR LOCAL AID ACCOUNTS

FY21 UGGA TO BE LEVEL FUNDED AT FY20 AMOUNTS

FY21 CHAPTER 70 SCHOOL AID AT LEAST LEVEL FUNDED FOR ALL

 

July 30, 2020

After months of uncertainty regarding the size of the state’s fiscal crisis, state leaders today announced a framework for protecting the two main sources of local aid in the state’s fiscal 2021 state budget. According to a statement issued by A&F Secretary Michael Heffernan, the Governor and Legislature are committing to no less than level funding of Unrestricted General Government Aid and Chapter 70 education aid as the baseline amount for fiscal 2021 funding for each community.

Because of the difficulty in projecting tax collections, unanswered questions about whether the federal government will provide fiscal relief, and the unknown impact that the coronavirus will have this fall, the Legislature has enacted a bill to continue with a temporary budget through October 31. The state had previously adopted a one-twelfth budget through July, and has added a 3-month extension. This will give lawmakers and the Administration more time to gather information and shape their budget plans.

Knowing that local officials need firm information on local aid and school funding in order to finalize their municipal budgets, the state’s top leaders have joined together to provide guidance to cities and towns, and the news is good for communities.

In an alert issued via the Division of Local Services, the Baker-Polito Administration announced that House and Senate leaders and the Governor would be protecting the two major local aid accounts, UGGA and Chapter 70, from cuts as they set the state’s fiscal 2021 budget later this fall.

They announced that the $1.13 billion Unrestricted General Government Aid (UGGA) program will be level funded at fiscal 2020 amounts for all communities, and that all cities and towns will receive at least level funding of their Chapter 70 education aid. Some school districts will receive school aid increases due to inflation and enrollment under the current formula. In total, Chapter 70 school aid will increase by $107 million, bringing that account up to $5.28 billion.

Click here to download the topline local aid UGGA and Chapter 70 numbers for each community and school district, as released by DLS this afternoon.

Local officials with questions about the numbers can email DLS at databank@state.ma.us.

The Governor-House-Senate framework closely matches the MMA’s request to state leaders, which the association delivered earlier this week. MMA has asked state leaders to protect local aid from cuts by preserving aid at fiscal 2020 levels at a minimum.

Please click here to read MMA’s July 27 letter to state leaders.

MMA immediately applauded the local aid framework, issuing the following statement:

“This is very welcome news for cities and towns in every corner of Massachusetts. With the state facing a budget shortfall of between $6 billion to $8 billion due to the COVID-19 recession, local leaders have been very concerned about the potential impact on local aid. Today, the Governor, House and Senate have demonstrated that the state-local relationship is a true partnership. “By protecting local aid during this crisis, the state will maintain vital financial support for cities and towns. With this key financial guidance, communities can finalize their fiscal 2021 budgets, allowing them to continue their work fighting the coronavirus pandemic and delivering the essential quality-of-life services that drive our economy. This framework will benefit every resident and business in the Commonwealth, and we are deeply grateful to Governor Baker and Lt. Governor Polito, Speaker DeLeo, President Spilka, House and Senate Budget Chairs Michlewitz and Rodrigues, and their colleagues in the Legislature.”

ATM Warrant / Budget Cuts

MHS field-2

Annual Town Meeting set for 11 AM June 27 on MHS field

The COVID-19 delayed 2020 annual town meeting (ATM) will take place on Saturday, June 27 at 11 AM outdoors on the Medfield High School turf field, with a rain date on June 29.  The warrant for the ATM has been pared down to just the articles needed to enact the FY21 budget, with the intention to hold a special town meeting when the virus permits, perhaps in the fall, to deal with any other necessary town business.

The Select Board voted last night to recommend approval of all the articles.  The Warrant Committee had already voted to recommend approval of all but one or two of the articles, and is expected to recommend approval of the remaining ones when they receive the final numbers related to those articles.

The town’s budget is built off a guess that the town’s state aid will be reduced by 10% next year.  It is a guess because the state legislature is not able to give the town guidance on what to expect, because the federal government has yet to share with the state what to expect by way of federal assistance – creating this uncertainty for every American city and town is not the way government should run.

The Select Board is expected at its next meeting on June 16 to vote to make use of the legislation passed this past week that allows the ATM quorum to be reduced to just 10% of the usual quorum – our quorum is 250.

See the 2020 ATM warrant articles here –

20200609-KT-BOS ATM DRAFT 06082020

Budget cuts

Also at the Select Board meeting last night, the Town Administrator, Kristine Trierweiler, recommended and the Select Board approved the following town side budget cuts in order to balance the town’s FY21 budget:

Town Administrator's Recommended Budget Cuts Department Amount Details All departments $8,279 All office supplies accounts cut by 20% Town Administrator $17,321 Reduce TA Overtime Account to $1,000 (this account pays for OT as well as Retirement Seperations) Town Administrator $5,000 No contractual increase for TA Staff reduction ‐ Town Accountant $25,267 Eliminate (2) part time employees Hours reduction‐Payroll $21,998 Reduced hours for an FT employee Merit/COLA $41,113 Managerial Merit (24 Positions)* Merit/COLA $105,425 All Non Union Town employees 2% COLA (Water and Sewer Listed Below for Enterprise, Police and Fire would have to be addressed in CBA) IT $25,000 Eliminate funding for Network Consultant and capital equipment replacement (both funded for emergency purposes) Facilities ‐ Hiring Freeze $35,000 Facilities 0.6 employee Police ‐ Staff Reduction $54,476 Reduced request by one police officer Building Department ‐ Reduced hours $1,057 Adjust part‐time employee hours DPW ‐ Hiring Freeze $53,102 Vacant full time position DPW Highway Materials $25,000 Level fund from FY20 DPW New position $70,387 No new position at DPW Council on Aging $10,135 Allocated expenses from Revolving Fund (budget offset) Budget adjustments $10,836 Reduced budget requests in various departments Library ‐ hiring freeze $14,710 Vacant part time position Parks and Recreation $48,942 Cut swim pond salaries from the General Fund. Any swim pond related salaries to be paid from the Parks and Recreation Revolving Fund, which receives camp and swim pond fee revenue Police Officer Medical bill $58,000 Make payment in FY20, rather than FY21 ‐ this was planned to be a monetary article Total $631,048 Free Cash Usage Amount Details Stabilization Fund $200,000 Cut annual payment of Free Cash into the Stabilization Fund from $200,000 to $0. CARES/FEMA money (non revolving fund) to be put into stabilization Enterprise Funds Amount Details Water/Sewer ‐ COLA $15,420 No 2% COLA for water/sewer employees

FY21 Town Budget Cuts_KT631 (002)

Budget sheets for tonight

FY21 Budget Worksheet - for WC 6.1.2020 (002)_Page_1

FY21 Budget Worksheet - for WC 6.1.2020 (002)_Page_2

FY21 Budget Summary 05302020 (002)