Saturday, September 11, 2010

Municipal Calendar

The MA Dept of Revenue (DOR) publishes the Municipal Calendar so that each community government can plan accordingly. I have shared this here previously and will new readers joining us, think that this quarterly update is appropriate. While we see little of the work that all of the folks in the Municipal Bldg do for us in Franklin, this should give a good indication of some things that go on behind the scenes.

Municipal Calendar

September 15: Accountant/Assessors Jointly Submit Community Preservation Surcharge Report This report (CP-1) is a statement of the prior year’s net Community Preservation Surcharge levy, and is used to distribute state matching funds on October 15.

September 30: Taxpayer Last Filing Day for Classified Forest Land, M.G.L. Ch. 61

September 30: Municipal and District Treasurer/Collector Compensating Balance Report If compensating balance accounts were maintained during the prior fiscal year, a report and account analysis schedules are required.

September 30: Accountant/Superintendent/School Committee Jointly Submit End of Year Report to the ESE Schedule 1 — determines compliance with prior year Net School Spending requirement. Schedule 19 — determines compliance with current year Net School Spending requirement.

September 30 Accountant Submit Snow and Ice Report This report is a statement of snow and ice expenditures and financing sources.

September 30: Treasurer 4th Quarter Reconciliation of Cash for the Previous Fiscal Year (due 45 days after end of quarter or upon submission of a balance sheet for free cash/excess and deficiency certification, whichever is earlier) A reconciliation is the process of comparing the Treasurer’s accounts to the Accountant’s/ Auditor’s or Schools Business Manager’s ledger balance to determine if they are consistent, and for the officials to make any necessary corrections. When the reconciliation is complete, the Accountant/Auditor/School Business Manager should indicate agreement with the Treasurer’s balances. Reconciliations are required every quarter by DOR, but communities and school districts should reconcile monthly for their own purposes. The fourth quarterly report as of June 30 must be completed and returned to DOR. The first three quarterly reports of the fiscal year should be completed timely and filed in both the Treasurer’s and Accountant’s/Auditor’s or School Business Manager’s offices for possible BOA inspection or audit. Municipalities and school districts may also use these reports to monitor cash practices of the Treasurer’s office. If the Accountant/Auditor/School Business Manager and Treasurer are not consistently reconciling cash accounts, or if the reconciliations indicate variances, the Mayor, Selectmen or School Committee should inquire as to the reasons.

September 30: Treasurer Statement of Indebtedness Massachusetts General Laws Ch. 44, Sec. 28 requires the Director of Accounts to maintain complete and accurate records of indebtedness by cities, towns and districts. This statute also requires Treasurers to furnish any other information requested by the Director in respect to the authorization and issuance of loans. This Statement is the annual report required from Treasurers to accomplish this purpose. Treasurers should reconcile their debt records with the Accountant/Auditor before filing the Statement of Indebtedness to ensure that the Statement and balance sheet are in agreement.

September 30 State Treasurer Notification of Quarterly Local Aid Payments on or Before September 30 When local aid payments are transmitted to communities, the cover letter indicates what funds (e.g., Ch. 70, Lottery) will be made available, less quarterly assessments (see Cherry Sheet attachment for details).

October 1: Collector Mail Semi-Annual Tax Bills For communities using the regular semi-annual payment system, actual tax bills or optional preliminary bills should be mailed by this date.

October 1: Taxpayer Semi-Annual Preliminary Tax Bill — Deadline for Paying Without Interest According to M.G.L. Ch. 59, Sec. 57C, this is the deadline for receipt of the preliminary tax payment without interest in communities using the annual preliminary tax billing system, unless the bills were mailed after August 1. If mailed after August 1, the payment is due November 1, or 30 days after the bills were mailed, whichever is later.

October 1: Taxpayer Deadline for Applying to Have Land Classified as Agricultural/Horticultural Land or Recreational Land, M.G.L. Ch. 61A and Ch. 61B. According to M.G.L. Ch. 61A, Sections 6 and 8, and Ch. 61B, Sections 3 and 5, this is the deadline to apply to assessors to have land valued, taxed and classified as agricultural/horticultural or recreational land in the next fiscal year, unless a revaluation program is being conducted for that fiscal year. Under M.G.L. Ch. 59, Section 38 and DOR guidelines, assessor must review all property valuations and make adjustments to ensure current fair cash valuations every year. Because a revaluation program is being conducted every year, taxpayers who do not submit their applications by October 1 have until 30 days after the actual tax bills for the fiscal year are mailed to apply.

October 15: Superintendent Submit School Foundation Enrollment Report to DESE

October 31: Accountant Submit Schedule A for Prior Fiscal Year This report is a statement of the revenues received, expenditures made and all other transactions related to the town’s finances during the previous fiscal year. The Schedule A classifies revenues and expenditures into detailed categories that will provide information essential for an analysis of revenues and expenditures generated by various departments. This data, like other financial information reported to DOR, is entered into DOR’s Municipal Data Bank; as such, the Department may provide time series, comparative and other types of analyses at the request of a city or town. This information is also sent to the US Census Bureau and eliminates a prior federal reporting requirement. Failure to file by October 31 may result in withholding major distributions of state aid until the Schedule A is accepted by BOA.

October 31: Selectmen Begin Establishing Next Fiscal Year Budget Guidelines and Request Department Budgets

October 31: Assessors Begin Work on Tax Rate Recapitulation Sheet (to set tax rate for annual preliminary tax bill communities) A community that uses the annual preliminary tax bill system (on a quarterly or semiannual basis) should begin gathering tax recap information in order to have enough time for the tax rate to be set and tax bills mailed by December 31. See August’s Complete Tax Rate Recapitulation Sheet.
November 1: Taxpayer Semi-Annual Tax Bill — Deadline for First Payment According to M.G.L. Ch. 59, Sec. 57, this is the deadline for receipt of the first half semi-annual tax bills or the optional preliminary tax bills without interest, unless bills were mailed after October 1, in which case they are due 30 days after mailing.

November 1: Taxpayer Semi-Annual Tax Bills — Application Deadline for Property Tax Abatement According to M.G.L. Ch. 59, Sec. 59, applications for abatements are due on the same date as the first actual tax installment for the year.

November 1: Taxpayer Quarterly Tax Bills — Deadline for Paying 2nd Quarterly Tax Bill Without Interest

November 1: Treasurer Deadline for Payment of First Half of County Tax

November 15: Treasurer First Quarter Reconciliation of Cash

November 15: DESE Notify Communities/Districts of Any Prior Year School Spending Deficiencies By this date, or within 30 days of a complete End of Year Report (see September 30), ESE notifies communities/districts in writing of any additional school spending requirements.

November 30: Selectmen Review Budgets Submitted by Department Heads This date will vary depending on dates of town meeting.

This calendar was provided by the Division of Local Services

Franklin, MA

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