Glossary of Financial Terms Used at Town Meeting

Municipal bonds are issued for large capital expenditures, such as sewers, schools or other buildings.  In some cases a portion of the total  cost must come from available revenue or the tax levy, according to the state.

Cherry Sheet:  
A cherry-colored paper received from the state containing a statement of money’s the Town must pay to the county and the state and an estimate of the moneys to be received by the Town from the state.  These figures must be used in calculating the tax rate.

Free Cash:      
An amount of money which accrues from surplus revenue.  This money should be appropriated by Town Meeting primarily for unforeseen  expenses.  

Reserve Fund:
An amount of money voted by the Town to the Finance Committee for any unforeseen or emergency expenses, such as unusual snow removal, repairs to the incinerator, etc.  This falls under unclassified moneys.  

Stabilization Fund:  
Money set aside and accumulated until a large project is voted for capital expenditure.  At the time of construction, this fund may be used to supplement the appropriation.  If the expenditure is for schools, it may be voted by any Town Meeting, special or regular.   For any other capital expenditure authorization must await the annual Town Meeting.  

Current Overlay:  
The amount of money raised by the assessors to provide for tax abatements of the current year.  It is also used to round off the tax rates to even units.  

Overlay Reserve:  
The difference between the current overlay of a particular year and the uncollected taxes of that year makes up the overlay reserve fund.  Money may be taken from the fund by a vote of Town Meeting for any purpose.  

Tax Levy:       
The amount of money to be raised by property taxes.