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Why is Sanbornton’s town budget surplus so large?

  • Published in Letters

To The Daily Sun,

Once again this year, some good Sanbornton budget news, but it again raises some questions about our budgeting process. Why all that surplus? Perhaps someone at the town office can give a brief presentation about the possible uses of the fund balance and why such a large balance each year.
Last year the 2015-16 budget ended with an unassigned fund balance (which I like to call a budget surplus) of $1,235,428 and this year the 2016-17 budget with an unassigned fund balance of $1,662,486. It seems that each year the fund balance seems to grow bigger and bigger.
What I liked about this situation is that for both budget years the selectmen were able to use some of the unassigned funds, $60,000 the first year and now $93,000 for the second year to reduce or maintain the current tax rate going forward.
So the question again is: Why do we find ourselves with such large unassigned fund balances to begin with? Is there something missing from our budgeting process? Perhaps our selectmen should look at the complete budgeting process that they go through each year and make some changes if necessary in order to have a balanced budget in the years to come. Perhaps the earlier involvement of the Budget Committee would help.
Just a suggestion.
Bill Whalen
Sanbornton