With State Government facing new budget difficulties, local officials have been told to prepare for a "trickle-down" impact.
On Tuesday, Gov. Deval Patrick announced actual state revenues were significantly lower than projections, resulting in a $540 million budget shortfall for Fiscal Year 2013.
As a result, the governor announced he will be implementing $225 million in immediate budget cuts, some of which may impact Tewksbury.
He has also asked the Legislature to expand his authority, allowing him to make an immediate, across the board, one percent cut in state aid for FY13. In the case of Tewksbury, which has been slated to receive roughly $15.5 million in education and municipal aid this year, it would mean the loss of approximately $150,000.
"My hope is that it is just the one percent," said Town Manager Richard Montuori, at Tuesday night's Board of Selectmen's meeting. "It might impact the current budget but whatever cuts are made will have be to be factored into our budget projections for Fiscal Year 2014."
The Tewksbury Legislative Delegation (State Rep. Jim Miceli, State Rep. Paul Adams and State Sen. Barry Finegold) is scheduled to appear at the Dec. 18 Board of Selectmen meeting. This should present local officials with an excellent chance to gather more information on the state budget situation.
"I'm looking forward to hearing what insights they might be able to provide," said Selectman Doug Sears.
According to the Massachusetts Municipal Association, some of the immediate cuts being enacted by Gov. Patrick include $11.5 million from the Special Education Fund and $2.5 million from the Ch. 70 "pothole" account. It's also expected that projected sales tax shortfalls will result in the loss of around $20 million from the School Building Assistance program. All of these cuts could impact Tewksbury in some way.