State Aid to Peabody Would Increase $525K Under Gov's Budget Plan

Peabody, along with many other cities and towns, would see an increase in local aid under Gov. Patrick's proposed budget.

Under the governor's budget plan for Fiscal 2014, Peabody, along with many other cities and towns, would get a decent bump in state aid. We're talking around 2 percent, in fact.

According to local aid budget documents available on the state's website, Peabody is due to receive $25.48 million in total aid from the state by the close of Fiscal 2013 in June. The figures for FY14, however, total at $26 million.

That's still about $3.5 million shy, however, of what Peabody received back in 2007, which has steadily decreased each year since then except for in FY2012.

The increase of $523,873 for FY2014 would be evenly split between education and general government aid.

The Chapter 70 allotment is slated for a $153,725 increase, along with $86,940 in the school choice tuition offset and $21,280 more in charter tuition reimbursements.

General government aid would increase by $261,989 -- the city would receive about $230,000 from an Annual Formula Local Aid (which is new to the budget) plus about $28,000 more in veterans benefits and some other small changes.

Gov. Patrick's budget proposal adds the abovementioned formula line item proportionately for cities and towns, factoring in income, property wealth and population. By contrast, Lynnfield is slated to receive about $27,067.

Starting in Fiscal 2015, Patrick plans to place 25 percent of that aid in a reserve account for incentive-based aid to cities and towns, rewarding eligible municipalities for strong fiscal management, managing health care costs, etc.

Patrick has put forth an ambitious $34.8 billion budget proposal that would make significant investments in education and transportation by raising $1.9 billion in revenue, through a combination of tax hikes and eliminating some tax breaks.

Both the Mass. House and Senate will way in on the proposal in the coming months, each presenting their own budgets before coming to a joint resolution.

State Rep. Ted Speliotis says he's not in favor of the tax hikes and points out the local aid increases may disappear in the final budget, while freshman state Sen. Joan Lovely has not taken a position on the budget yet.


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