The City of Lowell has had its “Free Cash” Certified by the State at $1,333,385 slightly up over the $942,033 of last year.
It is still a very low number and shows how tight the City Budget is run. If you look at the surrounding Communities you note that Lowell with a much higher budget, has a lot less Free Cash, an effect of purposely keeping the taxes under the allowed 2.5% increase a year.
The City walks a very fine line in an effort to keep the taxes low and the budget is built with very little “FAT” that so many like to talk about. When you have a $300,000,000 budget and you are getting back slightly over a Million it is a bit worrisome. The State (DOR) recommends 3% – 5% excess be built into a budget and for the past few years Lowell has been around 1%.
When you compare Lowell with some larger communities like New Bedford, Worcester or Fall River (Brockton and Springfield haven’t been certified yet) you again see that Lowell is well under those communities in “Free Cash”.