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The 2023 Ballot Questions

The Select Board voted Feb. 9 to add two ballot questions to the Monday, March 27, town election ballot:

  • Question 1: a $745,460 Proposition 2 ½ override for the Sudbury Public Schools (PreK-8). The Sudbury School Committee requested (p.67) that its override question be on the March 27 ballot.

  • Question 2: a capital exclusion of $1,020,000 for the purchase of a fire engine.


The exact language of the ballot questions with brief summaries and pro & con arguments is in the election warrant on the town website: https://sudbury.ma.us/clerk/wp-content/uploads/sites/270/2023/03/2023-ATE-Warrant.pdf?version=f39a733268be16698e4cbd2fd55756a0


If a ballot question is approved at the March 27 election, it still must also be approved at annual town meeting, starting May 1. If a ballot question is defeated at the March 27 election, the information that the Select Board has posted indicates that the measure will not be raised at town meeting, though an option exists to try and pass a defeated measure at town meeting and hold a subsequent special election after town meeting to vote on it again.


 

More Information on the Ballot Questions:


Question 1: a $745,460 Proposition 2 ½ override for the Sudbury Public Schools (PreK-8). The Sudbury School Committee requested (p.67) that its override question be on the March 27 ballot.

  • An override refers to a vote by the registered voters in town to override the tax increase limit set by Proposition 2 1/2.

  • An override is requested because the schools recommended a budget which was approximately 1.7% higher than the Town Manager's Guidance.

  • It is estimated by the Town that the impact of the override on the tax rate is $0.12 per $1,000 assessed value. It is estimated further that the tax impact on the 2023 average home valuation of $956,957 is $114.


A “yes” vote on this question, and appropriation at the May 1, 2023, Annual Town Meeting of the full amount requested by the Sudbury Public Schools, will increase the amount of money the Town may raise by taxation by $745,460 and result in a permanent increase in the levy limit.


A “no” vote on this question means that the levy limit will not be increased at this time and the Town will not be able to raise the additional funds requested by the School for the FY2024 budget at this time.


Brad Crozier, SPS Superintendent, has scheduled two community forums to discuss the reasons for an override and to answer questions.


The forums are:

  • Tuesday, March 7 at 7 p.m .at Curtis Middle School

  • Monday, March 13, at 7 p.m. at Curtis Middle School (will be recorded by Sudbury TV for later viewing)


 

Question 2: a capital exclusion of $1,020,000 for the purchase of a fire engine.


This question proposes a one-year increase for FY2024 (July 1, 2023-June 30, 2024) for the purchase of Fire Engine/Pumper pertinent to the operations of the Fire Department.


The estimated impact of increasing the FY24 taxes an additional $1,020,000 is $.12 per $1,000 assessed value. The tax impact on the 2023 average home value of $956,957 is estimated at $155.

A “yes” vote on this question, and an appropriation by the May 1, 2023 Town Meeting, would authorize an increase in the amounts that can be raised by taxation for one year only, FY2024, to pay for the purchase and equipping of a Fire Engine/Pumper.


A “no” vote on this question will mean the purchase of a fire truck cannot go forward at this time.


The Fire Department has posted information on the capabilities of the requested fire engine and the need for it on the Fire Department website: https://cdn.sudbury.ma.us/wp-content/uploads/sites/294/2023/02/Ballot-Question-2-Information-Sheet.pdf?version=8634d317dc4a519da52959ecadcbd96a


 

More information on the upcoming election can be found in the Voters Guide.


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