What is Free Cash?

Free Cash is the operating budget surplus from the prior year, which is available to be spent in the current year. Local receipts for car excise taxes, fees, or interest on investments, for example, which are higher than budgeted contribute to Free Cash. Expenditures for salaries, benefits, materials, and contracts that are lower than budgeted also go into Free Cash at year-end.

Free Cash is not available for new appropriations until the amount has been certified by the state as part of its annual procedure of reviewing and approving all the Town's year-end reports. This usually occurs in October and the money is then available at the Annual Town Meeting in April.

Because Free Cash varies greatly from year to year it is not considered a stable recurring funding source. It is the policy of the Finance Committee to use Free Cash for one-time expenses that can be deferred, such as purchases of vehicles and capital equipment, rather than for recurring expenses such as labor.

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1. How is my real estate tax bill determined?
2. What is Free Cash?
3. What is Proposition 2 1/2?
4. Where can I get more information?
5. What is the stabilization fund?