Nicole St. Peter
Acting Revenue Commissioner, Bernard F. Crowley, Jr. today announced an increase for the 10th straight year in state aid to municipalities and regional school districts. FY02 Cherry Sheet aid totals $5.135 billion, an increase of $277 million or 5.7 percent over FY2001.
The record amounts are primarily attributable to a $223 million increase in Chapter 70 aid, a program for school funding, a $48 million increase in Lottery aid and a $41 million increase in School Construction aid.
As a result of declining state revenues due to the weakening economy, reductions had to be made to the Cherry Sheet estimates that were provided to cities and towns in March of this year.
"Although the final Cherry Sheet totals are less than the original estimates it is important to note that state aid to the Commonwealth's communities has continued to increase over the past decade," said Crowley.
The Cherry Sheets were given the name because they were traditionally printed on cherry-colored paper. Cherry Sheets amounts are available on the Department of Revenue's website (www.mass.gov/dor) under the Division of Local Services section.