CANTON, April 9, 2020 – The Board of Finance in Canton has reduced initial budget proposals from the Board of Education and Board of Selectman and is proposing a $40.9 million town budget for the upcoming 2020-21 fiscal year that would result in a tax increase of 2.47 percent.
The Board of Selectmen (BOS) and Board of Education (BOE) submitted their proposed 2020-21 budgets to the Board of Finance, which reviewed the budgets on April 6, according to a message from First Selectman Robert Bessel that is posted on the town website.
“Top of mind were preserving town services when residents and businesses need them most; pruning services that will most likely not be needed as we recover from COVID; investing in services that will accelerate economic recovery; and maintaining adequate reserves to fund emergency expenditures and possibly refinance the town debt to take advantage of historically low interest rates,” Bessel said in his message.
The Board of Finance reduced the increase in the Board of Selectman’s operating budget by $71,651, reduced the Capital Improvement budget by $153,000 and reduced the Board of Education budget by $206,499.
The initial budgets proposed by the BOE and BOS would have resulted in a 3.9 percent increase in taxes. With the cuts by the Board of Finance, the budget would increase 2.8 percent. The Board of Finance agreed to transfer $200,000 from the unallocated fund balance, which will lower the proposed tax increase to 2.47 percent.
At a meeting on Monday (April 7), the Board of Education approved the reductions to their budget. Bessel said the Board of Selectmen is expected to approve the reductions to their budget on an April 15 meeting.
The Board of Finance is expected to review the adjusted budget at their meeting on April 20 and publish it in time for a public hearing on May 4.
All of these meetings will be virtual. You can comment on the proceedings and make budget suggestions via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. These emails will be forwarded automatically to all members of the Board of Finance, the Superintendent of Schools, CAO, Board of Education Chair and First Selectman.
“If you have something to say, it is vitally important that you do,” Bessel said in his message. “If by May 1, the governor has not lifted the current ban on referenda, the Board of Finance is authorized to approve the budget and set the mill rate.”
“The town budget belongs to all of us,” Bessel said. “Your comments on May 4 will be considered in the final budget deliberations just as they have throughout this process.”
You can review the proposed budgets by clicking on the following links.