Brewster Financial Situation Improving

BREWSTER – The near-term financial forecast for Brewster is not as dark as it was earlier this year.

In February, a five-year financial forecast anticipated significant deficits over the next couple fiscal years.

Town Administrator Peter Lombardi said the town is estimated to have $567,000 in levy capacity for Fiscal Year 2021 during a presentation to the Select Board and Finance Committee last week.

About 45 percent, or $250,000 of that revenue would come from short-term rental taxes.

An override of more than $300,000 was approved by voters in the spring the current Fiscal Year 2020 budget.

Lombardi said there are no major structural deficits or operating budget overrides that should be needed in the next three to five years.

An override will likely be needed to cover the town’s share of costs for renovations at Nauset Regional High School. The project is one the largest capital projects looming for the town.

Lombardi said levy capacity is expected to tighten in Fiscal Years 2024 and 2025. There is currently a small deficit projected for 2025.

“This is a forecast, not a budget,” Lombardi said.

Select Board and Finance Committee members were pleased to hear the improved forecast.

“Whatever we can put away now is only going to help us in the future and reduce the burden on tax payers in terms of funding those capital projects and impact on the tax rate,” Lombardi said.

A five-year capital plan, which is required every year under town bylaws, will be completed by the end of January.

The operating budget process for FY 2021 will begin in mid-January with department reviews. Presentations are expected at the end of January.

About Brian Merchant

Brian Merchant grew up in Central Massachusetts and now lives in South Dennis on the Cape. He has been part of the news team in the NewsCenter since the spring of 2014. He studied radio broadcasting at the University of Tennessee.
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