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.
Denise C. Garlick
13th Norfolk District: Needham, Dover and Medfield* (precinct 1 and 2)
Posted onMarch 21, 2022|Comments Off on 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.
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.
As I wrote yesterday, the new law doesn’t mandate new housing. It changes zoning codes to allow property owners to build small multi-unit homes if they choose — a process that could take years, or decades, if ever.
We’re not talking about massive apartment towers. The law is designed to encourage more townhouses, triple-deckers and carriage houses near T-stops — instead of McMansions.
Failure to rezone would make a community ineligible for certain state grants, according to draft regulations.
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.
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. …
Happy New Year! Here’s the January 2022 issue of The Beacon – packed with the latest news affecting local government plus details about many upcoming MMA member group meetings, both remote and in-person.
By publishing The Beacon as a PDF, we can ensure that we get you the very latest information that you need ASAP. (If you did not receive this email directly, please share your email address with us – along with name, title and city/town – at email@example.com.)
Manager of Publications and Digital Communications
Posted onOctober 25, 2021|Comments Off on 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.
Posted onJuly 12, 2021|Comments Off on State $ support to Medfield up $127K next year
Email received today from the Division of Local Services (DLS), a part of the Massachusetts Department of Revenue:
FY2022 Preliminary Cherry Sheets Estimates
The FY2022 Conference Committee Report was released on Thursday July 8th and approved by both the House of Representatives and Senate Friday July 9th. As a result, DLS has updated the preliminary cherry sheet estimates to reflect these new funding levels. The preliminary cherry sheets can be found on the DLS website.
Click here for Preliminary Municipal Cherry Sheet Estimates or here for Preliminary Regional Cherry Sheet Estimates.
If you have any questions about the preliminary estimates, please contact the Data Analytics and Resources Bureau at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Comments Off on State $ support to Medfield up $127K next year
I started this blog to share the interesting and useful information that I saw while doing my job as a Medfield select board member. I thought that my fellow Medfield residents would also find that information interesting and useful as well. This blog is my effort to assist in creating a system to push the information out from the Town House to residents. Let me know if you have any thoughts on how it can be done better.
For information on my other job as an attorney (personal injury, civil litigation, estate planning and administration, and real estate), please feel free to contact me at 617-969-1500 or Osler.Peterson@OslerPeterson.com.