The past 3 years I was on the Town of Holden Finance Committee serving one term.  I was able to learn a lot about the Town of Holden finances and want to take this opportunity to give you my thoughts on the FY19 Town Budget that was recently released.

 

Total Assessed Value

In FY16, the total assessed value number submitted for Town Meeting was the actual approved number from Boston ($1,883,118,500) from FY15.   The rate approved at Town Meeting was $18.12, however, final approved assessed values  came in at $1,976,440,200 and the rate dropped to $17.25.

Starting in FY17, we changed this procedure and we stopped using the prior fiscal year approved assessed valuation  at Town Meeting.     Instead of using the approved number from FY16 of $1,976,440,200, a number of $2,015,928,204 was submitted at Town Meeting and the rate was approved at $18.60.    In the end the actual value was $2,091,483,900 and the rate dropped to $17.59.

This continued in FY18, when a number of $2,133,483,900 (not 2,091,482,900) was submitted at Town Meeting and the rates was approved at $18.81.   In the end the approved number was $2,208,751,900 and the rate dropped to $17.61.

It continues in. FY19.  The number being submitted for Town Meeting vote is not the approved number from FY18 of $2,208,751,900, , but $2,252,933,058.   In the end, this final approved value could be:

  1. this number
  2. more then number
  3. less then this number

Bottom line, I feel we need to submit the current approved assessed value at Town Meeting on the current budget like we did for Town Meeting votes up through FY16.  Not make assumptions on what the assessed value will be. 

Sewer Rate Lawsuit against Worcester

Line 5300.  This is starting to get very expensive 

  • FY14    114,285
  • FY15    225,569
  • FY16    302,739
  • FY17    207,456 (Budgeted 400,000 at Town Meeting)

That is approximately $950,000 in legal fees.  

Now this past year (FY18) we budgeted 450,000 up from $400,000, but have only spent $892 though December of FY18.  Maybe we have a lot of bills coming in between January and June of FY18??   

In this budget for FY19, we have $450,000 budgeted again? 

As a taxpayer I feel almost $1,000,000 in legal fees suing the City of Worcester, whom we have to negotiate a new sewer rate contract with either this year or next year when this contract expires, seems excessive.

The Selectmen should consider resolving this lawsuit as one of their top goals.

 

Will have more thoughts during the week

 

I am glad to see that the IIF has in fact been eliminated as I recommended numerous times