Friday, July 2, 2010

Municipal Calendar

From the MA Dept of Revenue, Division of Local Services "City & Town" Newsletter for July 2010 comes the following. I don't pretend to know this in detail. It may very well go over your head too. The point of sharing it is as many folks head into vacation time, there is much still to be done in the Municipal Building. The fiscal year just closed June 30th, which means the books need to be closed, accounts balanced, etc. The following provides some detail into the behind the scenes stuff that just happens!

Municipal Calendar
July 1: Collector:Mail Annual Preliminary Tax Bills
For communities issuing annual preliminary tax bills, the preliminary quarterly or semi-annual bills should be mailed by this date.
July 15: Accountant: Certification Date for Free Cash: Anytime after Books are Closed
Two weeks after the close of a fiscal year, all accounts are closed out and the resulting balance sheet and supplemental documentation submitted to DOR. Free cash is certified any time after this date.
July 15: Accountant: Report Community Preservation Fund Balance: Anytime after Books are Closed After the close of a fiscal year, the fund balance is submitted to DOR (Form CP-2) and notice given to the Community Preservation Committee and other financial officers. The fund balance may be appropriated anytime after that report.
July 15:School Business Officials: Certification Date for Excess and Deficiency (E&D) Fund
Two weeks after the close of a fiscal year, all accounts are closed and the resulting balance sheet (a pre-closing trial balance or audited financial statements will not be accepted unless requested by the Director of Accounts) and supplemental documentation are submitted to DOR. E&D Fund is certified any time after this date.
July 15: Assessors: Deadline for Appealing Commissioner’s Pipeline Valuations to ATB
July 20: DOR/BLA: Notification of Changes in Proposed EQVs (even numbered years only)
July 20: DOR/BLA: Notification of Changes in Proposed SOL Valuations (every 4th year after 2005)
August 1: Taxpayer: Quarterly Tax Bills — Deadline for Paying 1st Quarterly Tax Bill Without Interest
According to M.G.L. Ch. 59, Sec. 57C, this is the deadline for receipt of the 1st Quarter preliminary tax payment without interest, unless the preliminary bills were mailed after July 1. If mailed by August 1, the 1st Quarterly payment is due August 1, or 30 days after the bills were mailed, whichever is later, and the 2nd Quarterly payment is due November 1. If mailed after August 1, the preliminary tax is due as a single installment on November 1, or 30 days after the bills were mailed, whichever is later.
August 1: Taxpayer: Annual Boat Excise Return Due
August 1: Accountant: Notification of Total Receipts of Preceding Year
The total actual local receipts (e.g., motor vehicle excise, fines, fees, water/sewer charges) of the previous fiscal year must be included on Schedule A of the Tax Rate Recapitulation Sheet (Recap) which is submitted by the Assessors to DOR. On the Recap, the Accountant certifies the previous fiscal year’s actual revenues, and the Assessors use this information to project the next fiscal year’s revenues. Any estimates of local receipts on the Recap that differ significantly from the previous year’s actual receipts must be accompanied by documentation justifying the change in order to be approved by the Commissioner of Revenue.
August 1: Assessors: Deadline for Appealing EQVs to ATB (even numbered years only)
August 1: Assessors: Deadline for Appealing SOL Valuations to ATB (every 4th year after 2005)
August 15: Assessor: Deadline to Vote to Seek Approval for Authorization to Issue Optional Preliminary Tax Bills For semi-annual communities issuing optional preliminary property tax bills, the Assessors must vote to seek authorization to issue the bills from DOR by this date. After receiving approval, Assessors must submit a Pro-forma Tax Rate Recap Sheet to DOR for review and issue the tax bills by October 1.
August 31: Taxpayer: Last Filing Day for Classified Forest Land, M.G.L. Ch. 61
August 31: DOR/BOA: Issue Instructions for Determining Local and District Tax Rates A copy of the Tax Rate Recap Sheet and its instructions are forwarded to the town.
August 31: Assessors: Begin work on Tax Rate Recapitulation Sheet (to set tax rate for semi-annual bills) Until the Tax Rate Recap Sheet is completed and certified by the Commissioner of Revenue, the community may not set a tax rate nor send out its property tax bills (unless it issues preliminary quarterly tax bills or requests from DOR the authority to send out pre liminary tax notices if DOR requirements are met). Communities should begin gathering the information in enough time for the tax rate to be set and tax bills mailed by October 1. The Tax Rate Recap Sheet provides Mayors or Selectmen with a ready-made financial management tool because the town’s most important financial management information is summarized on this form. The Mayor or Selectmen should review the Recap Sheet in preliminary form in order to understand the following financial information: Page 1 (Tax Rate Summary) — The proposed tax levy should be compared to the levy limit. If a town does not levy to its limit, the remaining levy is referred to as excess levy capacity. Excess levy capacity is lost to the community for the current fiscal year although it will always remain in the levy limit calculation. Page 2 (Amount To Be Raised) — This section includes appropriations and other local expenditures not appropriated. These include overlay deficits, revenue deficits, state and county charges, Cherry Sheet offset items, and the allowance for abatements and exemptions. By comparing this information to the prior year(s), any significant changes can be determined. Page 2 (Estimated Receipts & Revenues From Other Sources) — In particular, Sec tion C shows the amount appropriated from free cash and other available funds. By comparing the amounts appropriated to the balances in these accounts (available from the Accountant/Auditor), the Mayor or Selectmen can get a sense of how their non-property tax revenues are being used. Page 3, Schedule A (Local Receipts Not Allocated) — By comparing these figures to prior year(s), the Mayor or Selectmen can determine any changes in these revenues. Page 4, Schedule B (Certification of Appropriations and Source of Funding) — This section includes financial votes of City/Town Council or Town Meeting not previously reported on last year’s recap.

Franklin, MA

No comments:

Post a Comment