Thursday, January 29, 2009

The numbers are in!

According to the numbers posted today on the Massachusetts Dept of Revenue website, Longmeadow's state aid for the current FY2009 will be reduced by $169,442 which is higher than my original estimate of $146,000. Below are the official numbers for FY2009 (original), FY2009 (revised) and FY2010 (projected).

Combining this number ($169,442) with the reduced excise tax receipts, lower investment income and overbudget snow removal costs (total = $225,000) that were discussed at the last Select Board meeting adds up to almost $400,000 which must be cut before the fiscal year ends on June 30.

Looking to next year's budget... it doesn't get any better. Comparison of the original FY2009 state aid with the proposed FY2010 state aid shows a shortfall in revenue to Longmeadow of almost $500,000.

According to Paul Pasterczyk, town finance director there is ~ $917,000 of "Free Cash" and approximately $2.13 million in the Operational Stabilization Fund. Both of these sources which are the town's reserves can be used to reduce the current deficit.

While the FY2010 proposed school dept budget is $83K less than FY2009 (see earlier post), it does not include a "cost of living adjustment" or COLA for teachers since their contract ends at the end of the current school year. If a new teachers' contract were negotiated that provided for a 3% COLA increase, it would increase the proposed $31.3 million school budget for FY2010 by $550,000!

The current financial environment suggests that the FY2010 budget process which has been underway for some time looks like it may be very difficult.

Stay tuned!

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