Thursday, May 3, 2018

Interesting item from last Advisory Committee meeting; The Town Administrator presented the committee with an end of year financial transfer request. Transfer from Insurance and Benefits fund to Veterans Fund. Amount of transfer request is $7,000.00. The amount shown to still be in the Veterans fund as of April 27, 2018 is $5,365.00. The amount shown to be in the Insurance & Benefits Fund as of April 27, 2018 is $519,538.00.
From the 3rd quarter financial report from Town Accountant dated April 23, 2018, Insurance & Benefits shows $745,860.27
A month earlier, expenditure report dated March 22, 2018 shows Insurance & Benefits as $747,776.49
Will be interesting to see what the end of year balance is for Insurance & Benefits, as in what is left over, if any.
I also have to question why a Town with a general fund spending plan of over 8 million dollars is going to use a meals tax, which does not even exist yet, as a basis to support 3 year leases on a car and a truck (police cruiser and highway one tone truck) while letting about $196,000.00 roll forward, untouched. I have to question why create 2 new 3 year bills when you do not have to. Spend the money you have and put the leftover into capital stabilization fund.
The warrant article states a three year lease for both vehicles at $42,000.00 per year with a limit of $126,000.00. If you just use the $126,000.00 as the case price for both items, there would still be $70,000 to put into capital stabilization without creating new bills that now have to be funded with future unknown money. What if the meals tax does not pass? Again,my view is it is a foolish move to let that $196 thousand roll on and bet on an unknown.

It is Time for a change - VOTE Jeff Bennett for Selectmen
SUMMARY:  Overlay and Overlay surplus

These guidelines explain recent amendments made by the Municipal Modernization Act that impact the Allowance for Abatements and Exemptions (overlay). St. 2016, c. 218, §§ 131, 133 and 152. They explain the statutory standard for maintaining an adequate overlay and the actions the Commissioner of Revenue (Commissioner) may take when approving a tax rate or determining available funds (free cash) to ensure compliance with that standard. Overlay is an account to fund anticipated abatements and exemptions of committed real and personal property taxes. The overlay amount is determined by the board of assessors (assessors) and may be raised in the tax rate without appropriation. Excess overlay is determined, certified and transferred by vote of the assessors to a Fund Balance Reserved for Overlay Released by the Assessors for Expenditures (overlay surplus). Overlay surplus may then be appropriated by the legislative body for any lawful purpose until the end of the fiscal year, i.e., June 30. Overlay surplus not appropriated by year-end is closed to the general fund undesignated fund balance. G.L. c. 59, §§ 23 and 25.

This is posted so as to try and inform people of what the item is and how it is used. If you hear or see overlay surplus at Town Meeting, now you will hopefully have an idea of what it is and how or why it comes to be.