What is an Override?

Proposition 2 1⁄2 allows a community to assess taxes in excess of the  automatic annual 2.5 percent increase and any increase due to new growth by passing an override. A community may take this action as long as it is below its levy ceiling, or 2.5 percent of full and fair cash value. An override cannot increase a community’s levy limit above the level of the community’s levy ceiling. 

When an override is passed, the levy limit for the year is calculated by including the amount of the override. The override results in a permanent increase in the levy limit of a community, which as part of the levy limit base, increases at the rate of 2.5 percent each year. 

A majority vote of the Select Board allows an override question to be placed on the ballot. Override questions must be presented in dollar terms and must specify the purpose of the override.  Overrides require a majority vote of approval by the electorate.

Source: www.mass.gov/doc/levy-limits-a-primer-on-proposition-2-12-0/download

Show All Answers

1. What is an Override?
2. The Town passed an override in 2017. Why are we being asked to pass another one?
3. What is the amount of the override and how will that impact my taxes?
4. How do we ensure we aren't back in the same place next year or the year after asking for another override?
5. Do these fiscal challenges affect Westford in particular or are there other towns in the same situation?
6. Over a year ago, did we know about these upcoming budget deficits when the library expansion vote was on the table?
7. Should we reconsider pursuing the Library Project during a challenging budgetary cycle?
8. What financial supports exist for fixed income or low socioeconomic households?