Chapter 10 - Finance & Taxation
Section 10-1 - Preliminary Budget Estimates
It shall be the duty of the Town Manager to compile preliminary estimates for the annual budget. The head of each office or agency of the Town supported wholly or in part from Town funds, or for which a specific Town appropriation is made, except the Board of Education, shall, on or before March 10th, file with the Town Manager on forms provided by him a detailed estimate of the expenditures to be made by his office or agency and the revenue, other than tax revenues, to be collected thereby in the ensuing fiscal year. Such estimates shall be accompanied by a statement setting forth, in narrative or such other form as the Town Manager may prescribe, a program or programs showing services, activities and work accomplished during the current year and to be accomplished during the ensuing year. The fiscal year shall be the twelve-month period commencing on July 1st.
Section 10-2 - Duties of the Town Manager on Budget
On or before the third Monday in March the Town Manager shall present to the Board of Selectmen a budget consisting of:
- (a) A statement outlining the important features of the proposed budget plan;
- (b) Estimates of revenue, presenting in parallel columns the itemized receipts collected in the last completed fiscal year, the receipts collected during the current fiscal year to the time of preparing the estimates, the receipts estimated to be collected during the current fiscal year, and estimates of the receipts, other than from the property tax, to be collected in the ensuing fiscal year;
- (c) Itemized expenditures for each office or agency for the last fiscal year and actual expenditures for the current fiscal year to the time of preparing the estimates, total expenditures as estimated for the current fiscal year, the requests of the several offices and agencies for the ensuing fiscal year and the Town Manager's recommendations for the ensuing fiscal year for all items. The Town Manager shall present reasons for all of his recommendations;
- (d) As a part of the annual budget or as a separate report attached thereto, the Town Manager shall present a program concerning proposed Town capital improvement projects (municipal and school) for the ensuing fiscal year and for the four fiscal years thereafter. The Town Manager shall recommend to the Board of Selectmen those projects to be undertaken during the ensuing fiscal years and a method of financing the same. The proposed municipal and school capital projects shall be analyzed jointly by the Board of Selectmen, Board of Finance, Board of Education or representatives thereof and other appropriate officials to evaluate for timing and budget impact of the proposed projects.
Section 10-3 - Duties of the Board of Selectmen on Budget
On or before the first Monday in April, the Board of Selectmen shall present to the Board of Finance the completed budget as prepared by the Town Manager and such alternatives or changes, as it deems necessary.
Section 10-4 - Duties of the Board of Education on Budget
On or before the first Monday in April, the Board of Education shall submit to the Board of Finance its estimates of receipts and expenditures for the coming fiscal year. Such estimates shall be in the form prescribed by the state board of education, plus such amplification as may be required by the Board of Finance.
Section 10-5 - Annual Budget Process
- All Appropriations - All appropriations, except for self-funded accounts which do not involve Town funding, shall be approved by the Board of Finance through the procedures set forth in Sections 10-5 and 10-6 of this Charter, and all accounts shall be audited annually in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles.
- Hearing - Annual Town Budget - The Board of Finance shall hold a public hearing on the second Monday in April and, if it deems necessary, on the next succeeding day at which any elector or taxpayer may have an opportunity to be heard regarding the budget proposed for the ensuing fiscal year. Following the receipt of the estimates from the Board of Selectmen and the Board of Education and prior to the public hearing or hearings required by this section, the Board of Finance may make such revisions in the budget estimates as it deems desirable. Following the public hearing or hearings, the Board of Finance may again make such revisions in the budget estimates, as it deems desirable and shall recommend such revised budget to the Town to be voted on in accordance with Section (c) of this Section 10-5. Copies of the proposed annual budget shall be made available for general distribution in the office of the Town Manager, the Granby Public Library, the Cossitt Library and the Police Department and other locations and media as deemed appropriate by the Board of Selectmen by Thursday noon prior to the public hearing or hearings. Copies of any revisions in the budget recommended by the Board of Finance following the public hearing, together with copies of the original proposed annual budget, shall likewise be available for general distribution at the same locations and other locations and media as deemed appropriate by the Board of Selectmen by Thursday noon prior to the third Monday in April.
- Machine Vote - A machine vote shall be held on the proposed annual Town budget on the fourth Monday in April. Absentee ballots for the machine vote shall be available at the office of the Town Clerk. The budget shall be adopted if approved by a majority of those voting. If the machine vote fails to adopt the budget a hearing shall be held on the succeeding Monday for informational purposes with a machine vote the following Monday, and the process shall continue in like manner until a budget is adopted. If the hearing or machine vote is continued to the last Monday in May and such Monday is a holiday, said hearing or machine vote shall be held the next day.
- Board of Finance Action - During the period between machine votes, the Board of Finance may revise the proposed budget to be submitted for the next machine vote. Summaries of the revised proposed budget shall be available before the next machine vote.
If the budget is not adopted by June 15th, the Board of Finance shall appropriate sufficient funds pending the adoption of the budget to meet continuing salary schedules and contractual obligations, at budget levels and obligations then in effect and may authorize borrowing, which may be necessary to fund the appropriation.
- Budget Format and Procedure - The budget adopted by machine vote need not include all items of expense as required in the budget document by Section 10-2. An official copy of the budget resolution as finally adopted shall be filed by the Board of Finance with the Town Clerk within one week following adoption. Within ten days after adoption of the budget resolution the Board of Finance shall fix the tax rate in mills, which shall be levied on the taxable property in the Town for the ensuing fiscal year.
- Capital Fund and Appropriations - If recommended by the Board of Selectmen and incorporated as a part of the proposed budget of the Board of Selectmen, the Board of Finance, in accordance with the provisions of chapter 108 of the general statutes as amended, may levy annually a tax not to exceed two mills as provided in said chapter 108 for a capital and non-recurring expenditure fund. Upon recommendation by the Board of Selectmen, the Board of Finance shall have the power to transfer from time to time to this fund any portion of the general fund cash surplus not otherwise appropriated or encumbered.
Appropriations for construction or other permanent improvements, from whatever source derived, shall not lapse until the purpose for which the appropriation was made shall have been accomplished or abandoned as stated by resolution by the Board of Selectmen, provided that any such project shall be deemed to have been abandoned if three fiscal years shall elapse without any addition to, or expenditure from, or encumbrance of the appropriation therefore.
Section 10-6 - Expenditures & Accounting
- No purchase shall be made by the Town other than the Board of Education, except through the Town Manager and such purchases shall be made under such rules and regulations as may be established by ordinance by the Board of Selectmen.
- No voucher, claim or charge against the Town other than the Board of Education shall be paid until the same has been audited by the Town Manager and approved by him as being correct and proper. Checks shall be drawn on the Town by the Town Manager for the payment of approved claims, which shall be valid only when countersigned by the treasurer. In the absence or inability to act of either the Town Manager or the treasurer with respect to the above duty, the First Selectman is authorized to substitute temporarily for either but not both of them.
- Any person receiving or holding funds of the Town shall pay same over to the Town treasurer in the time and manner prescribed by the Town Manager.
- No person shall involve the town in any obligation to spend money for any purpose in excess of the amount appropriated.
- Subject to the provisions of Section 11-3(a), additional appropriations over and above the total budget may be approved from time to time by the Board of Finance by resolution, upon recommendation of the Board of Selectmen, for items other than Board of Education requests. In the case of requests of the Board of Education, the Board of Selectmen shall have the right to comment prior to action by the Board of Finance. Certification from the Town Manager that there is available an unappropriated and unencumbered general cash surplus to meet such appropriations shall be required before approval by the Board of Finance. The sum of all appropriations made under this subsection during the same fiscal year shall not exceed one and one-half percent of the current tax levy. In calculating the sum of all such additional appropriations during the same fiscal year, appropriations of the following legally committed amounts shall exclude: insurance reimbursements; gifts and bequests to the Town for a designated purpose; state, federal or private grants or state or federal reimbursements, requiring no obligation for additional or future expenditure by the Town.
- Notwithstanding the foregoing and the provisions of Chapter 11, upon a declaration of an emergency by the Town Manager and upon a resolution adopted by a two-thirds vote of the Board of Selectmen that an emergency situation confronts the Town where prompt action is necessary to avoid serious harm to the Town or its property or its inhabitants, the Board of Finance, by a two-thirds vote, may make an emergency appropriation of up to three (3) percent of the current tax levy without the necessity of a Town meeting. Certification from the Town Manager that there is available an unappropriated and unencumbered general cash surplus to meet such an appropriation shall be required before approval by the Board of Finance.
- Upon request transmitted by the Town Manager and approved by the Board of Selectmen, the Board of Finance by resolution, may transfer any unexpended and unencumbered appropriation, balance or portion thereof from one department, office or agency of the Town, except the Board of Education, to another. No transfer shall be made from any appropriation for debt service and other statutory charges.
- Except for appropriations for capital improvements subject to the provisions of Section 10-5 of this chapter, all appropriations shall lapse at the end of the fiscal year to the extent that they shall not have been expended or encumbered.
- Every payment made in violation of the provisions of this Charter shall be deemed illegal and every official authorizing or making such payment or any part thereof resulting in loss to the Town shall be jointly and severally liable to the Town for the full amount so paid or received. If any appointive officer or employee of the Town shall knowingly incur any obligation or shall authorize or make any expenditure in violation of this Charter or take any part therein, such action shall be cause for his removal.
Section 10-7 - Borrowing
The Town shall have the power to incur indebtedness by issuing its bonds or notes as provided by the general statutes.