Berwick in the News - April 1, 2021


Berwick’s town council has some tough calls to make with a date for setting the next round of tax rates on the horizon.

“Prior to fiscal year 2021, council had not approved a tax rate increase since fiscal year 2015, and, lowered tax rates twice since 2015,” said chief administrative officer Michael Payne via email on March 25.

The town leaned heavily on its operating reserves to balance budget deficits during that period.

But times have changed.

Payne said the depleted reserve is now at a level that the Department of Municipal Affairs and Housing considers high risk.

“To balance the budget for fiscal 2021, council approved a number of cuts to expenses, including layoffs, but a tax rate increase was still required to balance the budget,” he explained.

“For fiscal 2022, staff can’t find any more expenses to cut while still maintaining service levels to residents, so slight tax rate increases are required to balance the budget, with the ultimate goal of any surplus going back into the operating reserve.”

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