October 01, 2003

Municipal Financial Data: 33rd Edition

In the 33rd edition of its annual summary of trends in local revenue and spending, the Foundation concludes that deep cuts in state aid to cities and towns have produced significant increases in property taxes across the Commonwealth, including rising burdens for the state's poorer cities and towns. Even with the significant jump in property taxes, health care and other built-in costs have grown much more rapidly than revenues, forcing municipalities to cut spending and eliminate services in order to balance their budgets. With the state facing an expected $1-2 billion structural budget deficit in 2005, further aid cuts -- and an even harsher squeeze on local budgets -- appear almost inevitable. The report includes a new ten-year statewide statistical summary of local finances as well as financial data and property tax rates for every city and town in the Commonwealth.