|June 20, 2012|
Is the $5.1 million increase in budget proposed for Chicopee this year really necessary?
According to city records, over the past six years Proposition 2½ has added approximately $9 million to the budget, but over those same years free cash has totaled $ 27 million. In not one of those years did the city spend up to the total amount budgeted. And neither has the school department in recent years.
The Council should, at a minimum, reduce the non-school budget by the amount Proposition 2½ is proposed to add by reviewing every department that came in under budget and reducing those budgets equal to their actual spending. If that isn't sufficient, eliminate all new spending areas to achieve that total reduction.
Eliminating dollars equal to those proposed using the Proposition 2½ limit would result in lower tax bills next fiscal year with no deterioration of services. With free cash exceeding Proposition 2½ additions each year, and the city never spending to budget, there is no reasonable reason for an increase in the budget (that usually translates to an increase in taxes) this coming fiscal year.
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