Thursday, June 8, 2017

 This summary is intended to provide general information about municipal revenues and special funds under Massachusetts law. It is not designed to address all questions or issues about these revenues or funds. Nothing contained in this summary changes the laws that govern municipal revenues and special funds.

 A fundamental principle of municipal finance in Massachusetts is that all revenue received or collected from any source by a city, town or district department or official belongs to the general fund and can be spent for any lawful purpose only after appropriation by the legislative body. G.L. c. 44, § 53. No revenues can be segregated from the general fund into a separate fund to be reserved for specific purposes or spent without appropriation unless expressly authorized by a statute (general law or session act).

GENERAL FUND REVENUES (Estimated Receipts) 
Definition: all unrestricted revenues, including real and personal property taxes, other local taxes, such as excises, special assessments and betterments, unrestricted local aid, investment and rental income, voluntary and statutory payments in lieu of taxes and other receipts not expressly dedicated by statute. The anticipated general fund revenues for a fiscal year constitute the tax levy as a financing source (raise and appropriate), which may be appropriated until the tax rate is set. Collections during the year above the estimates used to set the rate are not ordinarily available for appropriation until after the close of the fiscal year and certification by the Director of Accounts as part of the municipality’s undesignated fund balance (free cash). G.L. c. 59, § 23.

posted by Jeff Bennett

Good Day:

First, as a reminder, I do have a prior commitment for this evening and may not be able to be in attendance to discuss the two transfer requests.  I am hopeful that, if I cannot be in attendance, the written explanations provided previously were satisfactory.

Second, I am in the midst of trying to schedule a meeting with DOR to review and discuss their concerns and expectations for the Town in closing out FY ’17, going into FY ’18 and beyond.  The tentative date(s) are June 28 or June 29, at 6:30 p.m. Please ask you members to keep those dates open and I’ll confirm with all involved as soon as I can.

Third, you may have missed it in my email of 05/30 but I had asked that you kindly let me have the contact info for your new members that I might include them in future transmissions.  I would ask again for that information as I was not able to include them in this transmission.

Finally, I have included some materials with respect to the Special Financial Edition we are now preparing to send to the printers.  The first is the DRAFT letter from the BoS.  Subject to revisions, they will act upon this on 06/12.  The second is the revised report of the Advisory Committee to correct the poor edit contained in the Annual Report and include the year end transfers.  As I told you before, we reserve the right to edit materials for clarity and to control printing costs.  As you can see, once revised for format and only those transfers approved, this has gone from eight pages to two while preserving all of the required material.  I am - of course - open to correcting any typos or factual errors that you notice so do please let me know ASAP. 

I have put copies of this material in the mailbox here at Town Hall for you.

Many Thanks

Carter Terenzini
Interim Town Administrator
Town of Templeton
160 Patriots Road
East Templeton, MA 01438
(978) 894-2753

posted by Jeff Bennett
The Division of Local Services;

In a letter from that state agency, dated May 23, 2017 and just received by the Advisory Committee has some interesting items within it. The agency will also be coming to Templeton to meet with some officials. One item in it has "In FY2013, the town did not renew the accountant's contract" First of all, the former Templeton outside vender for accounting, CPA Scott Sawyer resigned, effective in June 2012. The next accountant hired as a town employee also submitted their resignation. In effect, they left but it was not due to the town not renewing anything.

"The Bureau of Accounts had requested additional supporting documentation from the town accountant for the purpose of certifying FY2016 free cash. Since this was not received, FY2016 free cash was not available for appropriation at the May 13, 2017 annual town meeting."

There are deficits related to the school project and there is a schedule of sorts and one item states " The remaining $211,565.00 of the deficit should be raised from free cash, or if not available, from FY2018 budget cuts."

Interesting with there already being a $100,000.00 shortfall built into the FY2018 budget.

posted by Jeff Bennett