Dear Malden Residents:
With another budget season upon us, we are faced with the reality that our revenues in the new fiscal year will not be sufficient to support our expenses. As most of you know, we are limited on what we can do relative to increasing revenues. Specifically, we are capped on property tax growth to 2 ½ percent per year and we don’t have any real maneuverability on our local receipts as these remain fairly constant year to year.
Additionally, state aid, in the form of unrestricted aid and school aid, promises to be a challenge. The proposal from the Commonwealth reveals that unrestricted local aid will increase $300K and funding for education will increase by only a little more than $200K. Meanwhile, our State Assessments, which include items such as the MBTA and Charter School tuition payments, increased resulting in a net decrease in Local Aid. Finally, our reliance on one-time resources in the amount of $5M in the current fiscal year to keep the city’s operations intact, have been all but exhausted going into the new fiscal year.
Since we are severely limited on what we can do on the revenue side of the balance sheet, we have to look toward our expenses to balance the budget, which by state law is required each year beginning on July 1. With most of the city budget being consumed by personnel costs, I already find myself not being able to sleep at night knowing that the decisions that need to be made to achieve the balance will not be easy.
There is no doubt that we find ourselves in a tough spot, but I am confident that if we work together we will meet the challenges that lie ahead. Despite our current fiscal situation, there are a lot of great things happening in our City and we continue to move forward with many successful projects and initiatives. Take a look here to see all that we have accomplished this past year. Thank you.
City of Malden, Mayor