Marlborough’s overall financial picture ok, challenges lurk in future

May 24, 2011 – With the approval of the city budget on Monday, May 23, homeowners can expect to pay about $225 more in property taxes next year, according to Michael Ossing, finance subcommittee chairman.

The calculation is based on the current business climate. If there is no business/economic growth to offset taxes, residents can expect their bills to increase by this amount.

Ossing cautioned that this is only an estimate and that the final tax assessments are finalized in December by the Board of Assessors and reviewed by the state Dept. of Revenue.

The City Council approved a budget of $123,506,153, an increase of $3,292,354 over the current year, which equals a 2.8 percent hike.

Earlier this month, the finance subcommittee, which includes counselors Ossing, Patricia Pope, Joseph F. Delano Jr., Paul Ferro and Robert M. Seymour, met for five days and more than 18 hours with city department managers and reviewed the budget proposed by Mayor Nancy E. Stevens.

Within those discussions, the finance committee was able to reduce the mayor’s budget by $1,493,947 to arrive at $123.5 million. The largest portion of that reduction will be $423,052 in capital projects.

Ward 5 Councilor Seymour thanked Ossing for his leadership in working with the city budget.

Ossing said while the overall financial condition of the city is sound and this budget will meet the needs of residents in Marlborough, there are several challenges in the near future such as:

– expecting fewer dollars from state aid;

– funding post-retirement benefits;

– fewer local tax receipts;

– paying for a $3.4 million bond for the design of the Easterly Wastewater Treatment Plant that will add $283,000 to next year’s and subsequent budgets for decades;

– future contracts with bargaining units;

– the possibility of building a new library, senior center and other capital projects.

This story originally appeared here