Friday, March 28, 2008
State gives assurances on local aid
The local aid resolution passed by the Massachusetts legislature this month guaranteed FY09 funding levels for Chapter 70 aid for education, lottery aid and additional assistance for general town government. For Carlisle, FY09 Chapter 70 aid is promised at $815,812, which is an increase of $72,045, or 9% above this year’s Chapter 70 aid.
The legislature plans to supplement the declining state lottery income, to provide towns with the same aid as before. Carlisle’s net lottery allotment is to be $258,294. The state’s additional assistance to Carlisle’s general town government is also level-funded at $14,729.
The local aid resolution was made in spite of an anticipated deficit in the state budget. According to the March 26 Boston Globe, the state deficit may grow as high as $1.3 billion and is expected to deepen if unemployment increases in the coming months.
Between all sources of state aid and assessments, Governor Patrick’s budget proposal, released at the end of January, would result in a net increase in funding to Carlisle of $87,437. His plan also includes an increase of $126,966, or 7%, in Chapter 70 aid to the Concord-Carlisle Regional School District. The final version of the state budget has typically not been finalized until late June or early July.
Town Administrator Madonna McKenzie said that Carlisle officials are continuing to estimate next year’s state aid conservatively, using FY08 values. She noted that other sizable factors in local aid were not included in the legislature’s preliminary agreement. For instance, payments in lieu of taxes for state-owned land such as Great Brook Farm State Park, were not mentioned in the joint local aid resolution and these payments totaled $206,240 to Carlisle in FY08. Also, Chapter 90 funds for road repair have not yet been specified. ∆
© 2008 The