The board members approved a 115 percent split that represents a 74 cent increase on the residential side and a 90 increase on the commercial side of the tax rate at Wednesday's tax classification hearing.
The budget is a 3.8 percent increase over last year and is built on an estimated $27.6 billion in revenue, down $3.8 billion from the agreed-upon number in January. It will also use about a third of the state's rainy day fund at $1.35 billion. Should revenues come in higher, the amount taken from the stabilization account will drop.
The total amount to be raised is $40,939,756, up $134,218, or 0.33 percent, from last year. Some $11,369.776 has already been spent over the past three months through continuing appropriations caused by delays in the state budget because of the novel coronavirus pandemic.
The Finance Committee recommended using $376,000 in free cash to offset the tax increase necessitated by the town's rising costs. The Selectmen had decided to reduce last year's offset number from $140,000 to $110,000.
The committee OK'd a level-funded budget of $17,769,075 on a vote of 5-2 with members Tara Jacobs and Ian Bergeron voting against because of concerns that the budget did not address what they felt were deficiencies in the arts and special education.
This week, the news isn't quite so awful with the state committed to level-funding aid through at least the first two months of fiscal 2021. But the district isn't out of the woods yet, Superintendent Barbara Malkas told the committee on Tuesday.
Superintendent Jason Mccandless told the School Committee on Wednesday that he is hoping the contentious $64.4 million school budget clears the City Council's final vote but a 1/12th budget is being prepared.
The meeting, held on the lawn of the Senior Center because of the novel coronavirus pandemic, swiftly approved a town budget of $4,565,710 and the purchase of a new Department of Public Works truck for $250,000.
Town meeting will be held on Wednesday, June 24, at 6:30 p.m. at the Senior Center at 712 West Cross Road. The meeting will be set up in the parking lot and there will be provisions for keep people separate because of the pandemic; voters are encouraged to bring their own chairs and umbrellas.