At selectmen meeting on Tuesday Georgia Colivas, the Treasurer Collector, reported on the status of the work of her to offices to the town as follows (MVE is for “motor vehicle excise”) –
Selectmen’s meeting Tuesday, September 02, 2014
Update of current items on the to do list for the Treasurer’s office:
*The town will be selling general obligation bonds amounting to $7.2 M on Wednesday, October 1st. This borrowing includes 2 authorized articles: first one is the $5,840,000 MSH Water Tower, and the $1,360,000 Red Gate Farm Land Acquisition. As you may recall, the Red Gate Farm was previously authorized in June of 2014 with a BAN, a short term borrowing, that matures on October 17th. Once these borrowings are completed, the town will have no authorized and unissued debt…well until the next town meeting. Currently, as of the beginning of this FY, the town’s outstanding debt is approximately $46.1M with $37.8 M in principal and $8.3M in interest. The Town’s current bond rating by Moody’s is an AA1, and town will be subject to another rating call on September 23rd for the current borrowing.
*The month of September in the treasurer’s office will bring back the large biweekly payrolls now that school is back in session, and rather large weekly vendor warrants for all town and school departments. Millions of dollars of funds are disbursed each month- for example, in June of 2014, the last month of the FY, nearly $8.2M was expended. The beginning of each month to a municipal treasurer means a monthly cash reconciliation for all funds, town and school with bank statements including all revenue collected and expenditures paid. With school back in session, school revenues will make their way into the treasurer’s office- in fact, ALL types of revenue from all town and school departments must be deposited and accounted for by the treasurer. Currently, taxpayers may use the town’s online payment option to process RE tax bills, water bills and MVE bills. I am currently working with the new school business manager to implement many of the school user fees to the online payment system as well. We collect athletic fees, tuition, adult education fees, rents, all departmental revenues, including all revenues associated with student activity accounts.
*The management team will also begin preparing for the workers compensation audit, the town’s fy 2014 audit which will continue in Nov/Dec., and we will begin working to set the tax rate for fy 2015. Our current tax rate is $16.12. In the winter of 2015, we plan on updating the OPEB actuarial valuation, and also begin to assess how to structure the OPEB liability in a protected trust fund as approved at the April town meeting.
*In late October, I plan to advertise any outstanding parcels whose real estate taxes are not current and are not on an approved payment plan with the town. The Treasurer currently has 4 parcels in tax title, and 3 parcels in the foreclosure process, 2 of which should be settled by the end of the calendar year. In addition, the treasurer has 10 parcels in tax deferral status whereby the owners defer their RE taxes until they sell the property or until the passing of the owner.
*October will also bring water/sewer bills to all users’ mailboxes. These bills cover the usage period of April 1, 2014 to October 1, 2014 – or as we have named them, the summer usage bills. But before those bills are processed, water and sewer liens are imposed on past due balances which are added to the 3rd quarter real estate tax bills for prompt and assured collection.
*And on an ongoing basis, I handle all unemployment issues, health insurance for retirees, act as the liaison to the NCRS, keep up to date w/ record retention, balance trust funds on a quarterly basis, update investment policies based upon market conditions and advice from auditors, work closely with DOR and Division of Local Services, monitor appropriation expenditures and revenue, and most importantly work with the public.
Now on to the second hat that I wear, the Tax Collector:
*as of 6.30.2014, for the 2014 tax levy, 99.3% of all real estate tax receivables have been collected. This %age is a reflection of the town’s solid tax base and the commitment of it’s’ taxpayers to the town. In FY2014 the tax collector’s office prepared over 300 MLC’s which gives you an idea of the number of sales/refinances that occurred in town.
*the next MVE commitment will be released in early October by MASSDOT (formerly known as the Registry of MV), and the largest MVE commitment will be released to the town in February. In FY14, MVE revenue was approx. $1.9M
*In a few weeks, 2nd quarter preliminary RE tax bills will be processed and mailed. These bills are due on or before November 3rd. We issue approx. 4600 RE tax bills and around 80 personal property bills each fiscal year. In addition, water and sewer bills, which are collected by the Tax Collectors’ office, will be issued by the middle of October and due by the end of November
*Most importantly, the lines of communication between the Treasurer /Collectors office and ALL TOWN AND SCHOOL departments are healthy and clear- we work extremely well together, we respect one another, and this is all evident in our year-end financial statement s, bond ratings, and collection rates. It is my pleasure to work with such a dedicated team of professionals.