Random 2016 Budget Observations

FY2015 Proposed Budget

2015 forecasted

I took a quick look at the colorful new budget and came across some items that I was looking at last year compared to what the city actually received.

Motor Vehicle Excise Tax – in the “proposed 2015 budget” it forecasted REVENUES be $7,067,294 – The City in the 2016 budget is projecting that number to be $7,767,294 which is approx. $700,000.00 more than forecasted and they are using that number has the “forecasted 2016” budget. While that looks good in actuality it seems to be $588,000 Less than what the actual was for 2014.

Meals Excise Tax – Last year they projected $1,000,000 which was $90,000 more than the 2014 projection. In 2014 they collected $997,395. They are projecting $1,125,000 in 2016 which is approx. $1,125,000 more than this year, Guess they expect Bishop’s and the new Sandwich shop to be busy.

Last year for the PILOT (payment in Lieu of taxes) the 2015 City budget forecasted $971,000, they are now projecting that to be $930,000 which is less than they received in 2014, which was $936,859.

in the 2015 “forecasted budget” there was a line item that read Treasurer’s Misc. – it projected an increase of $103,000 over the projected 2014 number of $197,000. In the 2016 Projected budget, we are informed that in 2014 the “Actual” number was $120,020 and that this year they will meet the $300,000 they projected. What is this line item and how / why did we bring in $179,980.00 more in 2015 than we did in 2016?

Trash Fee – In 2014 according to this budget it cost $3,161,904 this year (2015) they are projecting a cost of $3,093,000
a savings of $68,904.00. Maybe the single stream recycling is the reason for the decrease?

2016 PROJECT

Do you agree with this statement? DPW Average Time (Days) to Respond to Streetlight Outage Requests 5

I thought Mike McGovern was a 3rd Asst City Manager? In this budget the position is listed still as Assistant to the City Manager

According to a Sun article about the budget it stated “no new hiring or employee raises are included in the budget”..however we already know that this budget includes 4 New Police Officers and the budget itself shows an additional 11 positions.

11 new hires

If no money is in the budget for raises, how do you enter into “Good Faith” collective bargaining? I know Union 1705’s contract is up. Not sure about the Fire Dept. The School Committee allegedly has set aside money for a 1.5% raise for the teacher’s union, if that turns out to be the case, how will the other Unions react?

I’m confused about the cost of Health Care , because in my humble opinion, the last few years budget book was easier to read and understand than this years.

In last year’s budget “Projection” it showed the following:
2015 Projhealth

In this current 2016 projection, it shows this:
2016 projected health

Which looks like 2016 will cost less than 2015? I thought 2016 was projected to be much higher?
The other confusing thing is there is a page that shows a 3 year level and that page shows a BIG increase in the 2016 Health Cost.

3 year fund

Hopefully someone at City Hall will read this and help me figure it out. Might just be the new format throwing me off.

FY2016 proposedBudget

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One thought on “Random 2016 Budget Observations

  1. Rich Cowan

    Gerry: Dracut – while Kevin Murphy was working for the school committee — had to unfortunately put a lid on its public school costs and in the last years of Murphy’s legal service rectify underfunding of SPED. That change decreased the number of teachers and added to the number of paraprofessionals. In your list of “total positions”, that is a FTE equivalent, right? you might try to obtain info on the numbers of teachers vs. paras, using the DOE web site as well as your school business office. It is a number worth following to get a good picture of what they are doing with the budget.

    Reply

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