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Waltham

WALTHAM — Waltham residents at town meeting — which starts at 6 p.m. on Monday, March 6 — will decide whether to approve the town’s first 12-month fiscal-year budget, one that will run from July 1, 2017, to June 30, 2018. Town meeting will be held in Waltham Town Hall on Maple Street.
Waltham’s current budget is serving as a transition to fiscal year spending and spans 18 months, beginning on Jan. 1 2016 and running through June 30 of this year.
In the coming year, the Waltham selectboard is proposing $106,349 of general fund/administrative spending and $147,165 to take care of town roads.
In separately warned articles, the board is asking residents to use $23,000 of a projected fiscal year-end surplus to offset taxes, and another $90,000 of that surplus to dedicate to a capital reserve fund.
Other financial issues to be decided at Waltham’s meeting include the Bixby Library request of a per capita increase of support from area towns to $22 from $18.94. In Waltham, that translates to a request for $10,962 for the coming year.
Other Town Meeting Day requests from nonprofits that serve Waltham and the county total $3,809, an amount unchanged from a year ago.
In Waltham nominations for town offices are accepted from the floor of town meeting. Town Clerk Mary Ann Castimore said Selectman Michael Grace’s tenure will expire on Town Meeting Day, and he is interested in being nominated to serve another term. Castimore and Treasurer Lucille Evarts would also like to continue to serve in their posts.
Also to be decided from the floor of town meeting are several other town offices, including one vacancy each on the boards of listers and auditors.
The selectboard has also proposed two measures that would create some leniency for taxpayers who are not too late in submitting payments. One would reduce the interest penalty from 8 to 2 percent if payments are a week or less late, and the other would accept postmarks as a valid payment date. Both those proposals are rolled into a single article. 
In Australian balloting at town hall from 10 a.m. until 7 p.m. on Tuesday, March, 7, Waltham residents will also join other Addison Northwest School District residents in voting on the proposed first-ever unified union budget of $21,116,289 to support the four ANWSD schools and its central office, plus the district’s share of the Hannaford Career Center budget.
That plan calls for a 1.68 percent increase over current district-wide ANWSD spending, but is slightly less than the 2015-2016 district spending total of $21,159,752.
Late-spring actions by the Legislature could change statewide tax rates, but according to ANWSD estimates using rates initially recommended by state officials there could be an 11.5-cent decrease in Waltham’s residential school tax rate if the proposed budget is adopted. 
An 11.5-cent decrease, independent of the impact of any change in the municipal tax rate needed to support town services, translates to a $230 lower tax bill on a $200,000 home.

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