Jerry Perry, director of accounts for the Massachusetts Department of Revenue (DOR) sent a letter to Saugus Town Manager Scott Crabtree stating that the town has a balanced budget for Fiscal Year 2013. “This is great news from the DOR,” Crabtree said.
According to the letter, the DOR requires the town to put together a “pro forma recap” of its budget. “Not a lot of communities are required to do it,” Crabtree said. The letter also cautioned that the DOR’s positive opinion about the town’s balanced budget could change—depending on spending increases, revenue drops, and the discovery of new deficits from the previous fiscal year.
The letter further stated that before the department will certify the town’s tax rate, the town will have to provide them with a budget-to-actual report for the end of FY12; the town must submit its balance sheet; the DOR must approve free cash; the town clerk must certify that the Board of Selectmen approved the indirect costs for the water and sewer enterprise funds, the regular audit of FY12, along with the management letter and A-133 compliance. According to the Office of Management and Budget, A-133 is a federally mandated set of compliance requirements for audits of governments; it condenses previously existing requirements to save auditors time and money.
Crabtree said that the regular audit is going well. “They’re finishing this week with the field portion of the audit,” he said. “We’re ahead of schedule with that.”
Although everything looks good now, DOR spokesman Dan Bertrand said he wouldn’t predict whether Saugus will have to go through this process again next year. “We can’t speculate that far ahead,” he said. He added, “We’ve been working with the town and we will continue working with the town.”
“We’re in the process of putting together the balance sheets and free cash,” Crabtree said. He added that he didn’t anticipate the town would have any free cash.