Senate budget draft cuts local aid

The Senate Ways and Means and Committee just released its budget draft at noon today.

The budget is based on tax revenue estimates of $18.0 billion, down over $1.5 billion from the estimates used by the Governor and the House budgeteers.   All agree that economic realities, starkly apparent in poor April tax collection results, require this reduction.  Compare projections from the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation with original consensus forecast.

For the local aid impact  on my communities, see information below provided through the courtesy of Senators Tolman and Donnelly.   For a more general perspective see instant analysis from the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center.

The next question is whether and how much the Senate will vote to increase revenues — whether they will support the House sales tax increase or other measures.  Also of interest is how the budget decision process will mesh with the ongoing work on ethics, pension and transportation reform.

Local Aid (Major Programs in Section 3 of the budget) -- 2009 and 2010 Budget Drafts   
ArlingtonBelmontCambridge
Senate Ways and Means FY2010
Chapter 70 Aid6,104,7084,511,7399,130,367
Unrestricted General Government Aid (1) 5,965,4491,775,42816,892,297
Potential Allocation of Federal Funds from ARRA938,8321,373,6590
Total Local Aid including Stimulus Allocation13,008,9897,660,82626,022,664
Change from 2009 Budgeted Total with Stimulus (2,662,478) 246,845 (10,031,337)
% Change from 2009 Budgeted Total-17.0%3.3%-27.8%
House Budgeted FY2010 (based on sales tax increase)
Chapter 70 Aid 6,229,294 4,603,815 9,316,701
Unrestricted General Government Aid (1) 7,875,026 2,327,198 23,131,899
Potential Allocation of Federal Funds from ARRA 914,048 1,364,975 309,750
Total Local Aid including Stimulus Allocation 15,018,368 8,295,988 32,758,350
Change from 2009 Budgeted Total with Stimulus (653,099) 882,007 (3,295,651)
% Change from 2009 Budgeted Total-4.2%11.9%-9.1%
House Ways and Means FY 2010 Budgeted (no new taxes)
Chapter 70 Aid (level funded) 6,229,294 4,603,815 9,316,701
Unrestricted General Government Aid (1) 6,391,552 1,902,244 18,098,890
Total 2010 Major Programs, HWM 12,620,846 6,506,059 27,415,591
Change from 2009 Budgeted Total (3,050,621) (907,922) (8,638,410)
Potential Allocation of Federal Funds from ARRA 914,048 1,364,975 -
Total Local Aid including Stimulus Allocation 13,534,894 7,871,034 27,415,591
Change from 2009 Budgeted Total with Stimulus (2,136,573) 457,053 (8,638,410)
% Change from 2009 Budgeted Total-14%6%-24%
Governors Proposed additional 2010 Aid (3)
Meals tax increase (1%) (4) 898,538 267,422 2,544,381
Rooms tax increase (1%) (4) 174,300 51,875 493,563
Aid to mitigate reductions in excess of 10% 55,630 - 989,799
Total new local aid proposals (not budgeted) 1,128,468 319,297 4,027,743
Total 2010 Aid if proposals adopted 14,104,320 6,931,013 32,448,600
$ Reduction from 2009 Budgeted (1,567,147) (482,968) (3,605,401)
% Reduction from 2009 budgeted-10.0%-6.5%-10.0%
Governors 2010 Budgeted
Chapter 70 Aid (level funded) 6,229,294 4,603,815 9,316,701
Unrestricted General Government Aid (1) 6,746,558 2,007,901 19,104,156
Total 2010 Budgeted Major Programs 12,975,852 6,611,716 28,420,857
$ Reduction from 2009 Budgeted (2,695,615) (802,265) (7,633,144)
% Reduction from 2009 budgeted-17.2%-10.8%-21.2%
2009 Budgeted
Chapter 70 Aid 6,229,294 4,603,815 9,316,701
Unrestricted General Government Aid (1) 9,442,173 2,810,166 26,737,300
Total 2009 Budgeted Major Programs 15,671,467 7,413,981 36,054,001
9C Cuts to Unrestricted Municipal Aid (920,103) (273,840) (2,605,446)
Reduced 2009 Total after 9C Cuts 14,751,364 7,140,141 33,448,555
% Reduction from 2009 Budgeted Total-5.9%-3.7%-7.2%
(1) Includes Addditional Assistance, Lottery and Supplement to Lottery
(2) Governor made an across the board 9.74% cut in unrestricted general government aid
(3) Subject to separate votes on tax increases
(4) Apportioned by specific amounts in Section 3 of the budget bill and guaranteed from the
general fund in event of short fall

For an excel version of the chart above, click here.

Published by Will Brownsberger

Will Brownsberger is State Senator from the Second Suffolk and Middlesex District.

2 replies on “Senate budget draft cuts local aid”

  1. Will,
    When in the heck is the Senate going to decide what they are going to do with the sales tax? Every town is in limbo waiting for the results of that decision and until we know, there can be no real planning on with the numbers we have? It’s very frustrating.
    Anne

  2. I know this is a bad time for everyone, especially because the interests of taxpayers seem to be in opposition to those of public employees. I am self-employed and will experience a substantial cut in income this year. With my wife, I pay 100% of our health care. So I may be selfish, but I have a hard time understanding some of the attitudes of public employees at the moment.

    Public employees don’t have the same income upside as people in the private sector when times are good, but they have better downside protection when the economy goes south. Public employees have guaranteed pensions unlike most of us in the private sector and can retire earlier than most people in the private sector. The health care costs that public workers pay should be correlated with those of private sector people in the same jobs, with public workers paying either more or less than private sector employee based on the average (median, whatever) discrepancy between the public and private salaries. Most public jobs pay less in salary than comparable private jobs, but not always. And salaries don’t include total projected retirement earnings of public employees versus those of comparable private sector jobs.

    My point is that everyone assumes public sector jobs have less total compensation than private sector jobs, but that generalization doesn’t mean much.

    The Quinn bill is a travesty in my opinion. It’s simply a guaranteed salary bump for acquiring a credential. It has also been abused for years. The program should be eliminated over a number of years, and some of the money should be paid out to officers as straight salary–based on performance benchmarks. On this issue police may not like it, but their credibility is shaky because of their defense of details. Police have been defending them (angrily) as necessary to public safety, which simply is not true and everyone knows that. There’s a reason Mass. is the only state that maintains the practice. It’s an inefficient way of compensating police; they are being paid for performing a service of little public value and are tempted to work ridiculous hours to make more, which compromises their performance when they are on duty. It’s a lousy system for everyone–police and the public.

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