Thursday, June 3, 2010

Frequently asked questions: "What is a Proposition 2½ override?"

What is Proposition 2½?

Proposition 2½ was a Massachusetts ballot initiative that became state law when the voters approved it in 1980. The law puts a 2.5-percent cap on the amount of money a community can raise through property taxes from year to year, not counting revenue from the assessed value of new construction and building improvements.

It is important to understand that Proposition 2½ does not say that your property taxes cannot increase more than 2.5-percent a year. It simply says that the total amount of money raised through property taxes, known as the “tax levy,” cannot increase more than 2.5-percent annually. In addition, a community can increase its levy limit each year to reflect new growth in taxable properties.

What is a Proposition 2½ override?

There are three different ways a community can increase its property taxes above the levy limit. What the town of Franklin is considering putting before the voters is an override of its levy limit, which would increase the limit by a specific amount.

The other ways for a community to change how Proposition 2½ would apply are through a debt exclusion, which temporarily excludes from the levy limit an amount of money to pay for new debt, and a capital outlay exclusion, which allows a community to raise its levy limit for one year for the purpose of funding a specific capital project. In the past, Franklin voters have approved debt exclusions to build new schools.

One of a series to address frequently asked questions


The special election on June 8th gives Franklin voters the choice:

Increase taxes to continue to provide the services we have this year (and that does not restore any of the services already cut)


Continue to cut municipal services for all and cut educational opportunities for our children

I'll help to provide the information. You need to do two things:
  1. Make your choice
  2. Vote on June 8th

You get bonus points if you talk with your neighbors about this and get them to vote!

Additional information on the override can be found here:

Franklin, MA

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