Southampton asking residents to consider tax-limit override to balance 2019 budget

Hampshire County

Southampton is facing a nearly $500,000 budget deficit for fiscal 2019.

Tuesday night’s vote could determine whether the town can raise nearly half a million dollars to balance its budget.

Southampton needs  $500,000 to fund schools and public safety.

The town is asking taxpayers to consider a possible tax-limit override at Tuesday evening’s town meeting.

If the override doesn’t pass, it could mean service cuts. For example, The Norris Elementary school could be forced to lay off six employees.

“When the budget request came back this year, we were actually looking at an $800,000 budget deficit for fiscal year 2019,” said Ed Gibson, a Southampton town administrator. “We’ve worked very hard, we’ve brought that down. We’ve eliminated on the municipal side salary increases, new positions, extra hours for fiscal year 2019.”

The Southampton fire department’s looking at a $100, 000 deficit for fiscal 2019.

If approved during the meeting, voters will still need to approve an override referendum question later this month.

The town meeting takes place on Tuesday at 7 p.m. at the Norris Elementary School.

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