So, if you’re not aware, Belmont faces some serious financial challenges in the months ahead, with a structural budget deficit of millions of dollars.
Without an increase in funds to cover Town services such as the public library, road maintenance and recreation, as well as our 4,000+ student public school system, Belmont will be forced to make deep cuts to its services.
We actually don’t know exactly what that will look like yet. But options on the table include drastic cuts – closing or seriously cutting back hours of operation at facilities like the public library and Beech Street center and laying off teachers and other school staff, leading to increases in class sizes and fewer choices such as extra curricular offerings.
To avert that, our Town’s leadership is getting ready to put a motion to voters to approve an override of Proposition 2 1/2, the State law that limits the annual growth of property tax revenue to 2.5%.
Before weighing in on the question of an override -how much we need, why we need it, where the money will go – it would be good to understand how we got to where we are, as a Town. That includes how a Town like Belmont finds itself with costs that exceed its revenues (spoiler alert: deficits are a “feature” not a “bug” of Proposition 2 1/2) and how we might climb out way out of this budget hole.
To that end, there is a presentation by our Town’s leadership on Wednesday, December 9 at 7:00 PM that will explain things. The session, “Understanding Overrides and Making Difficult Budget Choices” is accessible via Zoom using the following link:
Meeting ID: 841 6334 5461
You can also join by telephone,
Call: 1 (929) 205-6099
When prompted, enter: 84163345461#
When prompted, enter: #
To ask a question or raise your hand, enter *9 on your phone.
Finally, you can watch on Belmont Cable: Cable Channel 8 on Comcast or Ch 28 on Verizon or online anywhere: belmontmedia.org/watch/govtv