Town’s budget rings in at just under $70.5 million

Feb 12, 2020

The town’s budget for Fiscal Year 2021 is $70,426,422, announced Town Administrator Derek Sullivan at the Tuesday night Selectmen’s meeting. The new fiscal year will begin on July 1.

Of that budget, just under $46 million will be funded by tax revenue.

About a quarter of the budget is funded by the state, although state aid has decreased in recent years, while state assessments have increased.

The school budget, about $30,231,000, represents about 43 percent of the budget. The state’s touted plan to increase school funding was a disappointment to Wareham, as the school is only seeing a net gain of less than $30,000 in state funding.

Public safety costs take up about ten percent of the budget, and public works are only four percent.

Sullivan also compared the average tax bill for a single family home in the Wareham and Onset Fire Districts with the average tax bill for surrounding towns.

Wareham’s average tax bill is the 16th lowest in the state, Sullivan said, at $3,216, without the Fire District taxes. In the Wareham Fire District, the average tax bill is $3,844, while in Onset, the average bill rings in at just over $4,000.

By contrast, the average bill in Carver is $2,094 than that in Onset, and in Mattapoisett, that bill is $2,612 higher.

Sullivan said that while some residents complain that the town doesn’t provide many services, he thinks that what the town provides given its limited budget is impressive.