Today, Town Manager Melissa Murphy-Rodrigues submitted to the Board of Selectmen and the Finance Committee the Town’s Fiscal Year 2018 budget. The budget book includes all three-cost centers.
“I’m proud to submit a thoughtful, responsible and balanced budget to the Town,” Rodrigues said. “This has been a trying budget season, but the Town departments have worked hard to present sensible budgets that reflect the needs of the Town, while being respectful to our taxpayers and businesses.”
The Town portion of the budget includes Public Safety, Department of Public Works, General Government, Human Services, and Culture and Recreational Services, as well as debt and vocational education.
A joint letter submitted with the budget and signed by Town Manager Rodrigues, Sudbury Public Schools Superintendent Anne Wilson and Lincoln Sudbury Regional High School Superintendent Bella Wong explained that the three cost centers met regularly and collaborated in order to present the Fiscal Year 2018 budget.
“This budget recognizes the collaboration between the three cost centers,” Rodrigues, Wong and Wilson said in the letter. “We truly came together, to create a collaborative and fair process, recognizing the important role of each cost center, and that we need each other to be successful as a community. Sudbury is truly one.”
The letter further explained that the cost centers were presenting multiple budgets, including the 2.25% budget requested by the Finance Committee, due to an increase in revenues realized after the Finance Committee gave their initial guidance.
“I’m very excited to report that revenues are higher than originally presented due to an increase in personal property taxes,” Rodrigues explained. “The Eversource substation is now up and running and that gave the Town an unexpected $500,000 increase in personal property revenue. An additional $200,000 also came from other personal property tax increases. This is an additional revenue source that we will see every year.”
By law, a municipality’s budget can increase by 2.5 % in addition to new growth each year.
“This new revenue allowed us to have increased capacity for the Fiscal Year 2018 budget in a year where it is so sorely needed,” the letter further explained.
“The increased revenue is very important for the Town Budget,” Rodrigues explained. “Without this new revenue, the budget will be seeing a decrease in services for residents and layoffs. I trimmed my budget dramatically in Fiscal Year 2017, and came in under the Finance Committee Guidance amount, but this year the Finance Committee Guidance budget represents significant losses to the Town.”
The budget letter further explained that while the increased revenues help the cost centers address the needs of the Town, each of the cost centers submitted a needs budget that could require additional funding sources.
The budget is available on the Town website.