Why is an override needed?

With expenditures rising at a rate greater than revenues, the Town is faced with the decision to reduce services to balance the budget or raise the Prop 2 ½ limit on property tax growth to maintain services. The Town’s override proposal also prioritizes the need to:

  • Maintain the services we already provide by eliminating our current structural operating deficit;
  • Restore critical services that were cut during the pandemic;
  • Make our roads safe and resilient while freeing up grant resources for comprehensive “complete streets” planning;
  • Invest in increased planning capacity so we can grow sustainably as a community, strengthen our commercial property tax base, and rely less on overrides in the future;
  • Fund long-term solutions to our waste disposal and pest control problems;
  • Take concrete steps towards our fossil-fuel-free future;
  • Preserve our critical natural resources, especially our unique tree canopy;
  • Provide expanded programming to our senior citizens;
  • Reorganize key municipal departments to make them more efficient; and
  • Pay competitive wages to our employees so we can attract and retain talent that will provide the best services possible to the community.

Brookline’s schools also face a critical shortfall of over $3M this fiscal year that is set to grow, even after PSB has identified $1.85M in cuts it intends to make next year. While PSB was able to use one-time federal funds to prevent major cuts earlier in the pandemic, it now faces a need to move the ongoing costs once covered by those funds to the operating budget. PSB also seeks limited funding for public initiatives such as a no-fee bus service in South Brookline and redesigning the World Languages program.

Show All Answers

1. What is an operating override?
2. How does an override differ from a debt exclusion?
3. How much additional funding does the Town want in the override?
4. How much additional funding does the Public Schools of Brookline (PSB) want in the override?
5. Are there other override proposals on the ballot?
6. What about debt exclusions?
7. How much will the override and/or debt exclusion increase my property taxes?
8. Why is an override needed?
9. What is Brookline doing to assist senior citizens or residents on a fixed income?
10. How does Brookline compare with other communities’ tax bills?