The fiscal year of the Town shall begin on July 1st of each year, and end on June 30th of the following year.
Editor's Note: Former § 802, which pertained to the Budget Board, and former § 803, which set forth the duties of the Budget Board, were repealed by the referendum of 11-5-2002.
[Ref. of 11-7-1995; Ref of 11-5-2002; Ref. of 11-2-2010]
The following provisions shall govern the preparation of the annual Town budget:
All estimates for capital and operating expenditures by the departments, officials and agencies of the Town government for the ensuing fiscal year shall be submitted to the Finance Director no later than the first Monday in March provided however, that the School Department shall have until the first Monday in April to submit its estimates for capital and operating expenses to the Finance Director.
The Finance Director shall submit his/her recommendations to the Mayor no later than the third Monday in April.
The Mayor shall review the recommendations of the Finance Director and shall make such changes in the various expenditure requests as he or she may think fit, provided however that the Mayor shall not have the authority to change any item in the school expenditure request except the overall total amount, and submit the budget to the Council no later than the second Monday in May. Said budget shall include separate listings and totals of the capital and operating appropriations requested, respectively: comparisons with expenditures for the current fiscal year; a recommended tax rate for the Town to fund the Town's share of the total appropriations; a detailed listing of funds anticipated from the State and Federal governments and other sources; together with such explanation of the budget and its several parts as the Mayor may wish to provide.
On the same day that the budget is submitted to the Council, there shall be made available a quantity of copies thereof at the Town Hall to be furnished to interested citizens upon request, and the Mayor shall cause to be published (1) a notice indicating the Town's intent to consider adopting a property tax levy in a newspaper of general circulation in the Town in the manner and form prescribed by State Law, and (2) a budget summary in the form prescribed for such summaries in State Law, both of these publications to appear at least ten (10) days prior to the hearing for the purpose of adopting the Town budget.
Upon receipt of the budget, the Council shall make provision for no less than two (2) public hearings thereon, to be held on separate days, and to be concluded no later than the first Monday in June. Notice of said hearings shall be advertised on at least three (3) separate days in a newspaper or newspapers of general circulation in the Town, the final such advertisement to appear no less than five (5) days prior to the first hearing date.
The Council may make any changes in the budget which it shall think proper, provided, however, that it shall not have the authority to change any item in the school budget except the overall total amount, and provided further that the final budget when adopted shall show a balance between authorized appropriations and anticipated receipts. In adopting the final budget, the Council shall take two (2) separate votes thereon, the second of which shall be taken no less than forty-eight (48) hours following the first. The Council shall have completed action on the final budget and shall submit it to the Mayor for his or her signature no later than the second Monday in June.
The Mayor shall, within seven (7) calendar days, either signify approval of the final budget by signing it, or return it to the Council with a written statement of his or her objections. If he or she fails to sign or return the budget within the seven (7) days, it shall go into effect on July 1st without his or her signature, subject however, to the provisions of section 805 of this article. If he or she shall return the budget to the Council, the Council shall within seven (7) calendar days, either accept the objections as amendments to the budget and reenact it therewith, or approve it as originally passed by five (5) votes, or by majority vote submit a revised budget to the Mayor. In the event that any such revised budget is submitted to the Mayor by the Council, the foregoing provisions of this subsection shall govern consideration thereof.
In the event that no budget shall have been agreed upon between the Council and the Mayor by the start of the fiscal year, the departments, officials and agencies of the Town shall have the authority to continue making expenditures at the rates authorized in the budget of the previous fiscal year until such time as a new budget shall have been approved.
Any amendment proposed to the annual budget following its adoption shall specify the source of any funds sought to be appropriated over and above the total in the budget as originally adopted, and shall be considered by the Council under the following procedure: An ordinance showing the proposed changes in the affected line items shall be presented to the Council as provided by this Charter and shall be referred to a subsequent regular or special meeting for action on its adoption. The Council shall make provision for two (2) public hearings thereon, to be held on separate days. The second such hearing may be on the date the Council shall consider adoption of the ordinance. Notice of the said hearings shall be advertised on at least three (3) separate days in a newspaper or newspapers of general circulation in the Town, the final such advertisement to appear no less than ten (10) days prior to the first hearing date. The Council shall also cause to be published in a newspaper or newspapers of general circulation in the Town a summary of major expenditure and revenue categories appearing in the budget amendment, compared to current authorized expenditures and revenues, said publication is to appear no less than ten (10) days prior to the first public hearing. Any elector of the Town may circulate a petition for the holding of a referendum on the item or items which are the subject of the proposed amendment to the annual budget, including proposed amendments to any item in the school budget, as per the procedure set forth in section 805.
Any item or items in the Town budget as finally adopted may be made subject to referendum of the electors of the Town in the following manner:
Any elector of the Town may circulate a petition for the holding of a referendum on such item or items of authorized expenditure provided for in the budget as shall be specifically identified in said petition together with the proposed amount of increase or decrease thereof. Such petition may call for the elimination of an item of expenditure in its entirety, or the insertion of a new item. Regarding the school budget, any such petition may call only for the increase or decrease of the total school appropriation. Any such petition must be filed with the Town Clerk no later than fourteen (14) calendar days following the final adoption of the budget.
The Town Clerk shall transmit any such petition received by him or her to the Canvassing Authority which shall verify the signatures thereon forthwith. If the petition shall be certified by the Canvassers to contain the valid signatures of at least four (4) percent of the electors than registered in the Town, it shall be returned to the Town Clerk.
Upon receipt of such certification from the Canvassing Authority, the Town Clerk shall set a date for the holding of a referendum by the electors of the Town on the items specified in the petition, such referendum to take place no later than the third Tuesday following receipt of such certification.
Upon the certification of any such petition for a referendum by the Canvassing Authority pursuant to subsection B of this Section, if such petition calls for the reduction or elimination of an item or items in the budget as approved, no expenditures shall be made from said item or items, nor shall any of the funds therefrom be obligated, until the referendum thereon has been held and the issue resolved; provided, however, that in the case of a petition calling for a reduction in the total school budget, the School Department may continue to spend and/or obligate funds until the referendum is held and the issue resolved, so long as the rate of expenditure and/or obligation does not exceed that of the previous year during the same period of time.
[Ref. of 11-7-1995]
No bonded indebtedness may be incurred pledging the credit of the Town in excess of two hundred thousand dollars ($200,000.00) total in any one fiscal year unless approved by a majority of the electors voting thereon at a general or special election; provided however, that this limit shall not apply to borrowing in anticipation of tax receipts, receipts of federal or state grant monies, or anticipated revenue from water or sewer taxes or user charges, up to the limits set therefore and under the conditions specified in State law, provided further that all such borrowing shall be repaired during the fiscal year in which the borrowing took place.