NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Local News

October 12, 2012

Override request reduced by $30,000

NEWBURY — The tax hike that will go before voters at both the upcoming Special Town Meeting and at the polls next month will be slightly lower than initially anticipated.

Town Administrator Tracy Blais said a motion will be made during the Oct. 23 Town Meeting to lower the proposed tax increase from $293,000 to $263,000 and to eliminate a request for a $30,000 increase in the Finance Department Salary and Wages line item.

Blais said the $30,000 reduction was made possible thanks to a renegotiated employee health insurance plan, which cut costs by $142,900. The change in the plan design was not finalized until after a new police contract was ratified — too late to adjust the override amount on the Nov. 6 state ballot.

Under Article 2 on the special warrant, voters will consider decreasing the health insurance expense line by $142,990 and applying the savings to increase the following line items:

Professional and technical services: $10,000

Finance Department salary and wages: $30,000

Public building improvements: $20,000

Police Department salary and wages: $100,000

Byfield call fire wages: $26,000

Newbury call fire wages: $26,000

An additional $69,0101 in revenue raised from fee increases for transfer station and building permits is also part of the warrant request under Article 2.

If the tax hike, which is Article 1 on the warrant, is passed at town meeting and at the polls, it would fund the following:

Police Department salary and wages: $100,000

Byfield call fire wages: $25,000

Byfield fire protection flat rate: $25,000

Newbury call fire wages: $25,000

Newbury fire protection flat rate: $25,000

Public works salary and wages: $29,000

Library salary and wages: $34,000

Starting Oct. 15, the Finance Committee’s Town Meeting booklet will be available in the town clerk’s office, the library and online at www.townofnewbury.org. For the first time, the booklet will include a report from the town’s Capital Planning Committee.

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