Mayor Carlo DeMaria presented his $182,946,911 fiscal year 2015 budget proposal to a joint meeting of the City Council and Everett School Department last week, on Tuesday, May 27. The Council voted shortly after to refer the FY 2015 budget to its Committee on Budget and set hearing dates for June 16, 17 and 18.
According to Mayoral Chief of Staff Melissa Rodrigues, following the committee process, the full city council is likely to take up the budget for consideration in open session on Monday, June 3, just more than one week before the new budget would take effect, should it pass.
“The charter requires that the Mayor make a formal presentation of the city’s financial condition, revenue and expenditure forecasts and operating budget to the City Council, School Committee and Superintendent,” said Rodrigues.
The Mayor’s presentation covered his administration’s plans for a five-year financial forecast, reviewed the city’s current financial condition, and the City Auditor’s proposal to submit the city budget to the Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA), a national association of municipal finance professionals, to have the budget reviewed for consideration of the Distinguished Budget Award.
The nearly $183 million budget proposed by the mayor includes, $5,048,774 for general government operations, $22,622,333 for public safety expenses, $8,924,154 for city services, $2,439,596 for human services and $1,344,465 for libraries and recreation.
The budget also includes $71,203,997 for school department funding, which reflects an investment of $1million more than the city is required to spend on education according to the net school spending formula.
Finally, the budget includes another $42,825,446 in other fixed costs for items including the city’s retirement assessment, health insurance costs, FICA, employee injuries, property and liability insurance and debt service.
The budget also forecasts revenue in FY 2015 to support the proposed spending plan, including $68,051,055 in state local aid, $7,102,000 in local receipts, $1,882,459 in school building assistance funding, $15,822,866 in enterprise fund revenue (water and sewer accounts) and $90,088,531 from local property taxes.
The $90,088,531 tax levy is more than $3.5 million below the city’s maximum levy limit $93,645,406. According to the Mayor, the $90 million levy proposal represents an effort by the city to maintain tax rates at a sustainable level for local taxpayers.