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History...in a budget...

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  • History...in a budget...

    **Warning!** Don't read this unless you enjoy lots of gory numbers. But I think it's kinda neat.

    My Fire Company was formed in 1927, and had an appropriation from the Town of $150 that year. There was no more tax monies allocated until 1944.

    What is below is a table showing Year and % of the Total Town Budget that went to Fire Protection Facilities (Fire Companies, Dispatch Center, Equipment). Historically, 75% of the budget goes to Schools, and 25% is "General Government" which includes fire protection.

    Neat things to consider:
    In 1944, fire protection got 1.6% of the budget. In 1990, fire protection got 1.5%.

    Funding peaked in 1951 at 3.2% of the budget, then steadily declined to only 1.4% in 1969. Not coincidentally, there was an effort in 1969 for form a Fire District -- the Town Leaders headed this off in exchange for increasing funding.

    The 70s are interesting for the gyrations -- 5% on year, 1.7 the next; 3.7% one year, 1.5% the next. This was because trucks and other capital equipment was purchased "cash" instead of being capitalized over time.

    By the 80s they had the hang of budgeting and capital plans -- budgets where stable and slightly growing as a percentage of the Town budget.

    One last note, since Schools make up 75% of the budget but also receive significant State Grants, while Fire Protection may only be 1.5% of the budget it probably represents closer to 5-6% of the Property Tax Rate.

    1944 2 %
    1945 1.6 %
    1946 1.4 %
    1947 1.8 %
    1948 2.1 %
    1949 2.7 %
    1950 no data yet
    1951 3.2 %
    1952 3.2 %
    1953 3 %
    1954 3.2 %
    1955 2.7 %
    1956 2.6 %
    1957 2.4 %
    1958 2.4 %
    1959 2.8 %
    1960 2.4 %
    1961 2.6 %
    1962 2 %
    1963 2.3 %
    1964 2.4 %
    1965 2.3 %
    1966 2.1 %
    1967 1.9 %
    1968 1.6 %
    1969 1.4 % Attempt made to form fire district
    1970 5 % In a compromise, Fire District not
    1971 1.9 % formed in exchange for a Board of
    1972 2.3 % Fire Commissioners and improved funding
    1973 3.7 % (Cash paid for a new fire truck this year)
    1974 1.5 %
    1975 1.7 %
    1976 1.6 %
    1977 1.9 %
    1978 2.6 % (Cash paid for a new fire truck this year)
    1979 1.4 %
    1980 no data yet
    1981 no data yet
    1982 no data yet
    1983 1.2 % Around this time, a Capital Improvement
    1984 1.2 % plan was adopted, so Fire Trucks no longer
    1985 1.2 % bought on a Cash basis, but capitalized.
    1986 1.2 %
    1987 1.2 %
    1988 1.4 %
    1989 1.5 %
    1990 1.5 %
    It'll be interesting to see what the last decade is at once I get the data later this week!

  • #2
    Dalmation... It might be interesting to compare the terms of past chiefs to the better and worst budget years. You might be able to see who was best at fighting for money and if they're still around ask them for tips. Also you might want to compare bad budget years to election years for town council. There's a good possibility you could come up with some pretty interesting trends. Good Luck with your number crunching.


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