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Lincoln votes on budget tonight

May 12, 2013

LINCOLN – Local voters will get the chance to offer their say on a proposed $76,138,712 town budget for 2013-14 when the Financial Town Meeting gets under way in Lincoln High School tonight beginning at 7 o’clock.
Town Administrator T. Joseph Almond said Friday that he offered a budget similar to the Budget Board’s proposed figure before local voters and recommends passage of the town spending plan. He also pointed to the town’s work over the past five years to lower municipal operating costs while limiting increases in local taxes as making the proposed budget potentially acceptable to taxpayers.
“If the last three to four years are any indication, it should be uneventful,” Almond said.
The budget represents an increase of $824,833 over last year’s budget, and would require a 1 percent increase in the town’s tax levy to support it along with state aid.
The School Department would receive a total budget of $49,609,961 under the recommendation, which includes a $1,092,883 increase representing new state education aid in the coming year, according to Almond.
Although the recommendation notes a 1 percent increase in the tax levy, Almond said it is too soon to predict whether that change would carry through to an actual increase in the town’s tax rate. The levy is still being worked out in revaluation and whether the increase will be covered by growth in the overall levy remains to seen, he said.
“The assessed value of the town might increase enough so that we don’t need to raise the tax rate,” Almond said.
The budget includes $18,954,019 for municipal spending and also $1,146,254 in municipal capital spending. The capital budget would allot $130,000 to the lease purchase of a new rescue vehicle, $116,254 for lease purchase of a trash truck, $850,000 for road repairs and $50,000 for sidewalk improvements.
The Budget Board’s letter to the Financial Town Meeting estimates the budget, as prepared, could require a town tax rate on residential property of $22.85 per 1,000 valuation, a commercial rate of $26.12, a personal property tax rate of $35.88, and a motor vehicle tax rate of $30.66 per 1,000.
The budget also includes funding in total municipal capital expenditure resolutions of $2.4 million to complete improvements to the police station, local parks and dam rehabilitation under some multi-year improvement commitments.
School department capital improvements, including the repair of the Northern Elementary School, total $1.2 million under the proposed spending plan.
The session will be opened by Robert H. Turner, Jr., Town Moderator. Members of the Budget Board are Carl L. Brunetti, chair; Hagop S. Jawharjan, vice chair; Domenic A. Ricci, Michael P. Babbitt, William R. DiBiasio, Paul J. DiDomenico, Richard K. Foster, Rhonda K. Lacombe, Maria R. Marcello, and William J. McManus.

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