The Baker-Polito Administration’s FY16 budget demonstrates our commitment to empower and partner with cities and towns to build great schools and safe, thriving communities from one end of the Commonwealth to the other.
As former members of the Board of Selectmen in their hometowns, Governor Baker and Lieutenant Governor Polito are committed to providing the predictable, reliable local aid cities and towns need to budget and manage effectively.
In Governor Baker’s FY16 budget, local aid programs account for $5.8 B. This represents a $142 M (3%) increase in the Commonwealth’s support of cities and towns. Local aid is categorized as the programs that impact a municipality’s “Cherry Sheet,” the vehicle used by the Commissioner of Revenue to notify municipalities and regional school districts of estimated state aid to be paid and charges to be assessed over the next fiscal year. Below is a summary of funding for local aid cherry sheet accounts:
|Local Aid Account||FY15
|Section 3 Aid|
|Chapter 70 Education Aid||4,400,696,186||4,505,983,532||2.4%|
|Unrestricted General Government Ad (UGGA)||945,750,001||979,797,001||3.6%|
|Tax Abatements for Vets, Widows, Blind, and Elderly||24,038,075||24,038,075||0.0%|
|State Owned Land (PILOT)||26,770,000||26,770,000||0.0%|
|Regional Libraries Local Aid||9,692,731||9,692,731||0.0%|
|Public Libraries Local Ad||8,826,300||8,826,300||0.0%|
|Local Share Racing Tax Revenue||1,129,415||1,150,000||1.8%|
|Regional Schod Transportation||51,521,000||51,521,000||0.0%|
|Charter School Reimbursement||76,860,000||76,860,000||0.0%|
|School Lunch Program||5,426,986||5,426,986||0.0%|
In FY16, Chapter 70 education aid receives a $105.3 M (2.4%) increase to fund our K-12 schools at $4.51 B – the highest level in the Commonwealth’s history. This investment fully funds all foundation budgets, includes an increase for all 321 operating districts, and continues implementation and funding of the 2007 Equity Reforms.
In addition to Chapter 70 aid, $253 M in special education circuit breaker funding goes straight to our cities and towns to reimburse exorbitant special education costs for our neediest students.
Unrestricted General Government Aid (UGGA) is funded at $979.8 M, its highest level of funding since Lottery Aid and Additional Assistance were consolidated in FY10 to form one account for distributing local aid to cities and towns for general services. We recommend funding through revenue from the Lottery and the Gaming Local Aid Fund.
Community Compacts are the Baker-Polito Administration centerpiece strategy for holding local and state government to a higher standard of providing service to the public. Created by the Governor’s first Executive Order, the Community Compact Cabinet (CCC) will help create standards and incentives for state and local government to become more responsive and accountable. In order to help municipalities develop best practices, innovate, and collaborate across jurisdictional boundaries, we will use a competitive grant program to build the right mix of state incentives and technical assistance to municipalities. The Cabinet will develop a menu of best practices for local governments that reflects ideals for planning, fiscal management, and good government. At the same time, we will continue to seek input from local leaders on how state government can eliminate unfunded mandates, streamline administrative decisions for municipalities, and generally partner with our cities and towns.