The fiscal year ended with higher investment interest rates (MMDT –1.75%). On the borrowing side, low rates had a positive effect. In April of 2018 we issued a 1 year Bond Anticipation Note (BAN) for $10,300,000 for Library planning and design. J.P. Morgan Securities LLC was the winning bidder on the BAN with a weighted average interest cost of .9852%. At the same time, we issued a General Obligation Municipal Purpose Loan of 2018 Bonds (the “Bonds”) for $6,985,000 million for FHS construction and water infrastructure improvements. J.P. Morgan and Century Bank were the winning bidder with a weighted average interest cost of 1.8997%.
Prior to the sale, Standard and Poor’s Ratings Services, a municipal credit rating agency, affirmed the Town’s AA+ bond rating. They also assigned its 'SP-1+' short-term rating to Franklin’s series 2018 A and B general obligation (GO) bond anticipation notes (BANs), payable on May 17, 2019.
Standard and Poor’s stated “The stable outlook reflects what we view as the town's very strong liquidity position and strong budgetary flexibility. In addition, we believe Franklin's very strong economy and access to the Boston MSA lends stability to the town's tax base. Strong management, with “good” financial policies and practices under our Financial Management Assessment (FMA) mythology.
During FY 2018, $133,000.00 was collected in back property taxes, interest and fees. Ten property owners paid off all outstanding taxes and redeemed their properties out of tax title. We continue to pursue delinquent taxes through the foreclosure process and there are currently 17 properties in Land Court. Since 2001 we have foreclosed on 70 properties. Some properties will eventually be auctioned off and the rest will remain as town property.
There were 877 Municipal Lien Certificates issued by the Treasurer-Collector’s office generating revenue of $43,850.00. Also collected was $4,421.51 in fees for duplicate bills and files that we supplied to tax services and escrow agents. During FY18, the Treasurer-Collector’s office printed and mailed 40,947 Real Estate Tax bills, 2,094 Personal Property Tax bills, 33,535 Motor Vehicle Excise Tax bills, and 41,441 Utility bills.
The following Demands were also printed and mailed, 483 Real Estate Tax, 95 Personal Property Tax, and 4,103 Motor Vehicle Excise Tax. There were 2,480 Motor Vehicle warrants issued in FY18. There were 4 Betterment releases (water, sewer and road) generating revenue of $120. We also collected $104,500 for backflow testing and $65,700 for Sprinkler/Hydrant charges. The Treasurer also acts as the town’s parking clerk. Our deputy collector, Kelley & Ryan Associates of Hopedale, handles the billing and collection of parking tickets. During FY18 we collected $33,928 for parking violations.
I would like to thank all town departments for the timely and accurate turnover of fees to the Treasurer-Collector’s office. I also would like to acknowledge my team, I appreciate the efforts of each one of you in the past year. I am grateful for all of you. I would like to congratulate Jim Dacey on his richly deserved retirement. Thank you Jim, for your many years of great leadership. Everyone agrees, that you possess a rare combination of vision, fairness and understanding, crucial qualities for an effective Treasurer-Collector. Your career will be a model to follow.
Finally, I like to thank the citizens of Franklin for their continued support.
Kerri A. Bertone
You can read the full Annual Report for 2018 online
The archive of prior year annual reports
|Franklin Annual Report - 2018: Treasurer-Collector|