FinCom adds detail to budget limits for town, schools

By Betsy Levinson
December 21, 2023

Concord’s Fiscal Year 2025 revenue is estimated at $137,223,932, including property tax, state aid, local receipts and available funds, according to recent Finance Committee documents. 

That is $3 million, or 2.22%, over Fiscal Year 2024. It requires a 3.65% increase in property tax on the median-value home, plus an increase of up to 4% depending on how the remaining bond authorization for the Middle School is financed, the FinCom said.  

The Fiscal 2025 final guideline for town and schools is 3.66%, representing a “blended rate” of 3.26% for town and schools but adds more money for the Town’s Tier 1 capital budget items into its operating budget. Tier 1 items are up to $250,000 in their operating budget. 

“This means that the blended rate for the Town is 4.45%. Town Tier 1 capital spending is still recovering from large cuts made during the COVID 19 pandemic,” the committee noted. 

“All operating units (Town, Concord Public Schools and Concord-Carlisle High School district) are provided with the same 3.26% increase as budgets are in early stages and it is not clear that any unit has greater or lesser needs than others,” the FinCom reported. 

The FinCom considered that Tier 1 Capital is treated differently for the town than it is for the schools: For the town, Tier 1 Capital is included in the spending subject to guidelines and for the schools it is not.  

The 3.26% increase for the school operating budgets allows for an approximate 2.3% cost of living increase for school personnel based on the Fiscal Year 2025 estimate provided by the schools, all else being equal.