Mayor Roxann Wedegartner has submitted her Fiscal Year 2023 budget proposal to the City Council. The $58.3 million package represents a spending increase of approximately 7 percent over the current year’s operating budget of $54.5 million. The proposal includes significant reductions across nearly every department to mitigate surging costs for everything from goods and services to fuel, and increases in the school budget, while still supporting negotiated cost-of-living increases for the City’s valued employees.
“This budget is not one that includes excessive requests in expenses or staffing. In fact, it is the opposite, as we slowly recover from the adverse financial impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Mayor Wedegartner. “We focused on a shared common purpose of providing a balanced City budget that realistically maintains services and programs for all Greenfield residents while confronting economic pressures that are beyond our control.”
Education appropriations account for 38 percent of the proposed budget; general government appropriations account for nearly 31 percent; and City and School Department employee benefits, debt service, and property and liability insurance account for 31 percent.
Through difficult and rigorous work with department heads and other stakeholders, the proposed operating budget relies on a tax rate of $23.07, an increase of 3.35 percent, despite a spending increase of more than double that.
“There are signs of recovery in our revenue picture,” noted Mayor Wedegartner. “Some local receipts, such as the Hotel and Meals taxes, are starting to return to pre-pandemic levels. Revenue from cannabis is also increasing with two additional dispensaries poised to open later this year.”
The Mayor’s complete budget proposal is available online at www.greenfield-ma.gov/budget.