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Selectmen Propose 1.5% Budget Increase

A 1.5% increase in the town's budget would increase the average homeowner's bill by about $86, according to Framingham's Chief Financial Officer.

Residents may see an increase of $86.42, on average, in their annual tax bill in Fiscal Year 2013, if Town Meeting agrees to a proposed 1.5% increase in the Framingham's budget.

The 1.5% increase was supported by the Framingham Board of Selectmen with a unanimous vote.

Chief Financial Officer Mary Ellen Kelley had presented a recommended budget, with a 2.5% increase. That budget would mean a homeowner, on average, would pay $144.02 more in taxes in fiscal year 2013, explained Kelley.

“Our taxpayers deserve any kind of break they can get,” said Selectman Chair Jason Smith. “This (the 1.5% levy increase) makes the most sense because we’re not touching the schools and it gives our taxpayers some relief.”

In order to get to a 1.5% levy, Kelley was charged with finding a way to eliminate $185,000 in expenditures in the budget she presented to Selectmen Thursday night.

At this stage in the process, budgets are built on estimates of future revenue and spending and how much money the state will give Framingham.

At a 1.5% tax levy increase, Kelley estimated the town would have revenues of $224.9 million with single-family homeowners paying an average of $5,860 in taxes. This year, FY12, the residential tax burden was $5,774.

Other budget requests from the town’s departments included:

  • assessment $9 million
  • $12.6 million
  • $11.6 million
  • $3.2 million
  • $3.5 million

Expected revenues for FY13 include:

  • About $168.3 million in property tax (based on the best case 2.5 percent tax levy)
  • State aid of $37.4 million
  • Local receipts (licenses and permits) $15.6 million
  • Free cash $2.6 million

The town’s revenue comes from two primary sources, residential taxes, which account for 74% of the town’s revenue, and state aid, which represents 16% of the overall revenue, explained Kelley

Town Meeting members will vote on the proposed FY13 budget in April or May. Annual Spring Town Meeting begins April 24.

Jeff Zaref February 24, 2012 at 01:35 PM
What is the next step in this budget process to determine whether full-day kindergarten is a go?
Robert Hyzen February 24, 2012 at 01:55 PM
We should sign over half of our pay check to all of you.
Dan DiPasquale February 24, 2012 at 02:29 PM
jeff they will probably take that away from us also - let down after let down
Diane Tiger February 24, 2012 at 02:56 PM
Will they still be looking into the questions surrounding the assessments? Or is this intended to defuse the public outcry without addressing the root issue?
Alan Kawadler February 24, 2012 at 04:05 PM
After the fiasco with commercial and residential anomalies with assessments this year you would think that the BOS would understand the word NO. Since around 25% of Town residents vote in local elections it seems that the vocal minority is driving continual increases in property tax. My gut instinct is that the silent majority does understand the word NO. They just must be convinced them to vote. If we sync local elections with state or national elections we may have a shot at getting that input.
Jim Rizoli February 24, 2012 at 04:21 PM
Of course no one is really looking into all the reasons why the taxes are going up.... That might be to reasonable. Jim@ccfiile.com
Leah Graves February 24, 2012 at 04:46 PM
I was just thinking the same thing. Take my 10% increase and put it to good use. Stop asking for more. Those of us in the private sector struggle to even get cost of living raises. Some companies in MetroWest have not given raises in years.
Dave Hornfischer February 24, 2012 at 05:13 PM
The selectmen need to commit to a full review of the assessing dept and it's policies and programs for making assessments , especially commercial. The picky planning board also needs to be more supportive of projects that add to the tax base !
Jim Rizoli February 24, 2012 at 05:32 PM
Just can't admit to the elephant in the room! Lets look everwhere else that takes your attention off the real issues. Jim@ccfiile.com
Susan Petroni (Editor) February 24, 2012 at 10:42 PM
@Jim -- I gave you a place to discuss your "elephant in the room" - let's leave discussion here to assessments and taxes and leave your "elephant to the letter published today ...
Carol Sanchez February 25, 2012 at 01:00 AM
So, so true Dave, on both counts! Thank-you for saying it, aloud. While the Selectmen understand and proclaim that their first priority is to increase the commercial base, the planning board is moving in the exact opposite direction.

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