Why does Belmont need an override?

A  task force of expert residents and staff worked for a full year to develop a long-term financial plan for our town. They unanimously agreed that Belmont needs a $4.5 million override. For 13 years, since Belmont’s last operating override, we have lived within our means. But we are at a breaking point.

Town

  • Roads and sidewalks are in desperate repairs
  • Buildings and equipment are aging rapidly, and there is a large unfunded backlog of repairs and replacements
  • Additional cuts in staffing would significantly impact services

Schools

Enrollment is surging:

  • 107 new students each year (on average) over last 3 years, with no end in sight — equal to 4 new classrooms per year
  • 30% more students in kindergarten than grade 12

Mandated costs use large share of budget:

  •   Significant percentage of the budget are federal and state mandates for special ed., English language learning, and transportation

Belmont schools are already lean:

  • $12,799 per pupil spending in Belmont is $1,772 less  than Mass. average and ~$4,000 less than other top districts

Teacher and staff cuts next year without an override:

  • 27 positions will be cut from general education  to help close a $1.7M budget gap, and more cuts in future years

There are no other options to close the gap.

  • We’ve already cut staff and services
  • We’re already using collaboratives to save money
  • New non-tax revenue opportunities aren’t enough
  • And we can’t exhaust our savings — we need it for emergencies like 8feet of snow!

This is why Belmont needs an override now!

What is an override?

An override is a decision made by voters to increase property taxes to provide the town with added revenue (beyond the baseline). Without an override, Belmont is facing cuts which will impact every resident and homeowner. More...

What would you pay?

What would you pay to protect your investment in your home?

This is what a $4.5 million override will mean to you:
(based on FY15 assessed values)

For a $500K home:
    $380/year ... or $7/week

For a $750K home:
    $569/year ... or $11/week

For a $1M home:
    $759/year ... or $15/week

A few hundred dollars to protect hundreds of thousands? It just makes sense.