The Upcoming Budget Season

via wildfactor.net

via wildfactor.net

I know I’ve said I love budget season multiple times.

This year’s may be a bit different, though. I mean, I’m still looking forward to it, but it’s going to be tough, according to what my towns have told me.

Most town officials that I have talked to have said it’s going to be a stressful budget season. With uncertainty at the state level, municipalities are looking to keep things tight, while trying to keep as many services as they can for residents.

I’m definitely really, really curious to see how our towns do that, considering most of them are already running pretty lean already. Mill rate increases are bound to happen, regardless of town’s attempting to run lean, because aid will be short on both sides of town budgets (school district and town government).

I’m certain that many of our towns, including several of mine, will start with significant increases that will push the limits of what residents are comfortable with. Some of my towns haven’t seen significant increases in their taxes for years. This year will be a shock to some of them. People certainly won’t be happy.

Town officials will have to explain the situation to residents and the need associated with what’s happening at the federal, state and local level. It’ll be easy to cover, but it’ll be a challenge to get both sides in every story.

Residents expect taxes to remain level each year and town officials do the best they can. This year is a bit different. The economy isn’t getting better for towns and this year’s budget will be a prime example of that.

I don’t think many realize how tough this budget season will be. It remains to be seen, as of yet, but once the budgets come out to the public and discussions begin, residents will begin to grasp the situation before them. Many will be upset and it won’t be easy for many towns.

I’m anticipating several towns going to several referendums. From what I’ve been told, many towns are already anticipating that.

And I’ll be there to cover it.

Jonathan

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