Friday, June 28, 2002
Exactly 900 Carlisle residents turned out on Wednesday June 26 to vote on a single question, asking "Shall the town of Carlisle be allowed to assess an additional $75,000 in real estate and property taxes for the purpose of providing additional funds for the Concord-Carlisle Regional School District for the fiscal year beginning July 1, 2002." Within a half hour after the polls closed at 8 p.m. the hand count of paper ballots was complete, showing that the question had passed by a vote of 588 to 312.
With passage of the override, the town's FY03 budget is fully funded and the long, frequently contentious budget process is over.
The Annual Town Meeting on May 6 had approved a budget that would have increased taxes 5.9% above the the current year (FY02). However, a town election on May 14 rejected all budget overrides, leaving the town at the Proposition 2-1/2 levy limit, requiring deep cuts in the Carlisle School budget and leaving most town department budgets at their FY02 budget level. In addition, Carlisle's assessment for Concord-Carlisle High School was left unfunded.
At a Special Town Meeting on June 17, voters increased the FY03 appropriation for town departments, providing small salary increases for non-school town employees, and funded the CCHS budget at the level approved by Concord. Although most of this additional expense was covered by unanticipated higher revenues, primarily state aid, a $75,000 deficit remained which had to be made up by increased taxes or by cuts in town services.
The $75,000 override will increase the property tax rate by 8.4 cents per thousand dollars of assessed valuation, or a total of $42 for a property assessed at $500,000.
Voter turnout, though less than the 1,561 that voted on May 14, was still high for a town election. In May 2001, 897 voted in an election that included three override questions and adoption of a Community Preservation Act surcharge.
© 2002 The Carlisle Mosquito