Medford’s money from taxes, state and federal funds

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Over the past few weeks, leaders in the city of Medford have spoken to department heads and administrators to discuss the $ 191.9 million spending plan for the next fiscal year.

Yes, it’s almost $ 200 million of those portraits of George Washington that we sometimes find forgotten in a pocket, or crumpled at the bottom of a purse or handed without thinking to the homeless man standing outside the house. I-93 with an empty coffee mug and a gaping smile.

Medford City Councilors Michael Marks, left, Nicole Morell and John Falco discuss budget matters at a June meeting in the council chamber.

Where does the money come from? In Medford, property taxes, excise taxes which include taxes on motor vehicles, hotel or room occupancy and meals, state and federal aid, licenses, fees . The city earns interest on the investments (and pays off the debt).

According to the mayor’s budget presentation, $ 127 million, or about 70 percent of the city’s revenue, comes from property taxes. People’s pockets. It’s called the General Fund and it totals about $ 166.4 million and doesn’t include Community Preservation Act money, or revolving and corporate fund revenues.

Medford also plans to receive $ 27.9 million from the state in the form of various stipends and grants. The town also earns what it calls local revenue, collects water and sewer fees, and sells plots in the cemetery.

The Company Fund, created for commercial purposes, brings in $ 26.5 million in city coffers, but is expected to be self-sustaining and self-financing. The Community Preservation Act Fund, a 1.5% property surcharge that came into effect in 2017, is compensated by the state and funds the creation and preservation of open spaces, historic areas, affordable housing and residential facilities. outdoor recreation. It totals just over $ 2 million.

For the next two fiscal years, Medford will also receive approximately $ 48.5 million from the American Rescue Plan Act, which is intended to offset the financial havoc of COVID-19, resulting from lost revenue.

It can also be used to finance infrastructure projects, including water supply and sewerage projects, and be used to stabilize households and businesses affected by the pandemic, address public health issues, and continue the disease. fight against the killer virus.

Now where is he going?

In Medford, nearly 40 percent, $ 63.7 million, has been slated to pay for the city’s schools, which will be increased by the federal government by an additional $ 3.7 million.

In a presentation to city council on June 23, school officials hit high marks: an emphasis on education, especially after the pandemic year. A home for reading and literacy specialists.

Medford's budget includes a facilities manager, responsible for overseeing city structures to prevent deterioration, maintaining and scheduling regular maintenance.  The fire department buildings are all in need of repair, and the city is looking to repair or replace its headquarters.

City officials have called on schools to find ways to attract educators to meet the needs of the community’s growing diversification and to find ways to recruit employees who identify as being of color.

“We have 485 educators in Medford, 15 of whom are of color,” noted Councilor George Scarpelli. “There are buildings if there are no colored personnel.”

Councilors noted the challenges of recruiting qualified candidates in a district that pays less than other surrounding communities.

A good chunk of the money, nearly $ 30 million, is earmarked to pay for public safety, both police and fire departments. Public works, the people who pay the streets, pick up the garbage, fix government buildings, get about $ 15.5 million.

Benefits and insurance cost the city $ 40.5 million, general government or the cost of doing business, as the city of Medford costs around $ 7 million. It costs $ 5.3 million to repay the loans. Culture and recreation received a budget of $ 2.1 million and that of health and social services, $ 1.7 million. The community development budget is $ 699,682.

Dollars represent the quality of life of a community; wealthier communities that accumulate more money can provide residents with a more comfortable lifestyle, with city services ranging from curbside composting to plenty of pickleball courts for the city’s seniors.


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