Nashua mayor proposes nearly $307m budgetBy KIMBERLY HOUGHTON
Union Leader Correspondent
March 15. 2018 11:13PM
NASHUA — The mayor has presented aldermen with a proposed $307 million budget, which is up 1.6 percent from the current spending plan.
“The budget is, I am going to say, a tight budget,” Mayor Jim Donchess told the Board of Aldermen on Wednesday.
His proposed fiscal year 2019 budget includes general fund total appropriations of $306,746,972, which is up from the current budget of $302,270,669.
However, Donchess said his proposal does not include some of the increases requested by select city departments, specifically the schools, police and fire.
“I had to limit all of the major departments,” he said, noting his plan includes a 2.5 percent increase for schools, police and fire.
Donchess’ proposal for the school department is $146.7 million; the schools requested $147.6 million. His proposal for the police department is $30.4 million; police requested $30.5 million. And his proposal for the fire department is $24.4 million; fire requested $24.6 million.
“I have proposed a very lean budget which would mitigate, lessen the impact of the revaluation,” said the mayor.
He explained earlier that homeowners should prepare for an anticipated hike in their property taxes this year because of a mandated citywide revaluation process expected to increase the value of most Nashua homes.
The value of residential properties could go up about 20 percent, according to city officials, explaining the current assessed value for residential properties in Nashua is about $5.3 billion, and they are predicted to jump in value to about $6.6 billion.
Because of the anticipated increase in property taxes from the revaluation, Donchess said Wednesday that some items in the budget are funded at lower levels, which he admits is not ideal.
Still, he said that the proposed $306.7 million budget is $1,083,539 below the spending cap.
Although the Hillsborough County Superior Court recently ruled that the city’s spending cap is inconsistent with state law and is unenforceable, Donchess said his proposed spending plan is still considerably below what is allowed under the spending cap — if it was enforceable.
Donchess presented his proposed budget to aldermen about a month earlier than he has in the past.
He said it is important to provide the aldermanic budget review committee with more time to study and understand the proposed spending plan.
After reviewing the budget extensively in the coming weeks, the committee will make a recommendation to the full Board of Aldermen.