There seems to be a bit of controversy regarding the Charlestown FY 2021 budget. Listed below are seven good reasons to vote yes for the budget:
1. Utilizes a portion of the unassigned fund balance to reduce the tax rate from $9.23/thousand to
2. Maintains the unassigned fund balance at 25-26% of the general budget.
3. Provides $1 million to reduce the police pension plan’s unfunded liability, which has grown from $2.5 million in 2013 to its current balance of $4.9 million. This payment helps the town address the state’s “assumed rate of return” of 7.0% versus the “actual average rate of return” of 5.8% (actual returns over the past 22 years). The sooner we make additional payments the smaller our future makeup payments will be due to the results of compounding interest.
4. Provides monies for the Legal Defense Fund.
5. Continues funding for the dredging of both Quonochontaug and Ninigret ponds.
6. Pays off prior open space purchases that have come due.
7. Prepays lease purchase obligations resulting in interest savings to the town as well as reducing future expenditures.
The writer is a member of the Charlestown Budget Commission.