AUBURN — Mayor Jason Levesque told city and school officials Monday he would like to see the school and city budgets require no increase in local property taxes for next year. The workshop discussion came after the School Committee last week informally supported a lower school budget for 2019-20 that represents a 0% hike in taxes.However, as the City Council begins a month of budget workshops, officials also have lofty goals of finding between $600,000 and $900,000 in cuts to the proposed municipal budget to bring it down to a 0% increase. The budget as proposed is $45.6 million, about $1.2 million more than this year. The focus on conservative spending for next year is based on the $125.8 million high school project facing voters June 11. The proposed school budget of $45.3 million is about $1.6 million more than this year, but is offset by a $1.5 million increase in state subsidies. During the workshop Monday, Levesque said he would like to see the School Department increase be … [Read more...] about Auburn officials looks to cut more from budget
Municipal budget preparation process
opinion Jeanne LoCicero and Amol Sinha Special to North Jersey Record Published 5:26 AM EDT Oct 5, 2018 Just two weeks ago, when now-former Bergen County Sheriff Michael Saudino’s racist and homophobic comments came to light, one thing became clear: Bergen County residents could no longer place confidence in him to serve the public. What’s also apparent is that the process to elect a successor does not instill confidence, either. The state law requiring the candidates for sheriff to appear on the ballot this Election Day, Nov. 6, created a needlessly cramped time frame that threatens to undermine the democratic process. We have 33 days to try to fix that and to learn essential facts about the newly named candidates for one of the most powerful positions in the county. No matter who wins the election, the next sheriff of New Jersey’s most populous county bears the heavy responsibility of strengthening racial justice and standing up for the rights of all … [Read more...] about Opinion: In Bergen sheriff vote, stakes too high to get process wrong
COMMENTARY | Ordinary people have real power over real money to make decisions that affect their lives What is participatory budgeting? Participatory budgeting, or PB, is a deliberative democratic process wherein ordinary people decide how to allocate a portion of a municipal or public budget. PB started in Brazil in the 1980s and has spread rapidly to well over 3,000 municipalities on all continents around the globe. Since PB launched in Chicago’s 49th Ward in 2009, dozens of U.S. cities, both small and large, have begun allocating small but growing portions of their municipal budgets using PB. PB varies from place to place but it usually consists of five basic steps. Essential elements are a dedicated source of funding, community-driven project development, and a binding communitywide vote or decision process in which the selected projects are implemented with available funds. PB has been used to allocate funds for parks, housing and transportation improvements, … [Read more...] about Is the Portland area ready for participatory budgeting?
Texas state agencies were ordered Friday to cut 10 percent from their budgets next year, just a day after the U.S. Supreme Court issued a ruling that may result in an unexpected billion dollar windfall in state revenue. The governor’s budget director and the Legislative Budget Board—made up of statewide elected officials to oversee the state’s $217 billion budget—directed state agencies to prepare supplemental budgets that reflect the cuts in 2.5 percent increments. “While the state’s economic landscape is positive and a balance is projected to accrue in the treasury, agencies are directed to be vigilant in their spending and continue to be responsible stewards of state resources,” the agencies were told. The news comes as state officials determine the impact of a major reversal of law by the U.S. Supreme Court announced Thursday that will allow states to force online retailers to collect sales tax on purchases. The high court’s decision … [Read more...] about State Agencies Ordered to Cut Budgets Next Year by 10 Percent Even as Billion Dollar Windfall Looms
After a contentious debate this spring between school and city officials over education spending in Portland, city voters overwhelmingly approved a $110.6 million school budget Tuesday. With all precincts reporting, the vote was 10,992 in favor, or 78 percent, to 3,120 opposed, or 22 percent.Of the $110.6 million total, the state provides $13.7 million and the rest is raised locally. Superintendent Xavier Botana issued a statement late Tuesday thanking voters and acknowledging the struggle to adopt a budget this year. “The budget is a responsible one approved by both the Portland Board of Public Education and the City Council in a very challenging budget year, in which we had to grapple with a drastic reduction in state education aid and rising costs,” he said. “Thanks to the Portland community’s consistent support for our schools, we can now move forward and focus on the important work of preparing for the coming school year.” Botana also said the school … [Read more...] about Portland voters easily approve school budget