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The Budget Process

The fiscal year begins on July 1 and ends on June 30.  The budget for the upcoming fiscal year is presented at the Annual Town Meeting in May for approval the citizens of Swansea.  The annual budget consists of revenue estimates and a statement of expenses by department and/or expense category.

On the revenue side, state aid and local taxes and receipts are estimated for the next fiscal year in order to establish a framework for preparing the overall town budget.  Once the State budget is set in late June, State Aid is known.  The Assessors usually have new growth figures in the fall.  After the Fall Special Town Meeting, the Assessors, Town Administrator, and the Town Accountant compile information to help the Selectmen set the tax shift.  Forms are filed and reviewed by the Massachusetts Department of Revenue for approval.  The approved forms show the new tax rate.

In the late fall, department heads work on their operating budgets and capital requests for the next fiscal year with input and guidelines from the Town Administrator and the Town Accountant.  Selectmen start reviewing the expenses in January, passing on their recommendations to the Advisory and Finance Committee.  The Advisory and Finance Committee meets with department heads, Town Administrator, Town Accountant, and others to go over all the budgets and capital requests.  The Committee then submits its completed annual budget recommendations for the Town Meeting in May.