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Understanding La Salle’s Default Budget

December 28, 2010

Default Budget Shell Game

The default budget says, if you can’t agree on a budget, what was the budget the last time the taxpayers spoke…If someone feels that we have cut too much, they may choose to vote against the budget.  [The default budget] gives the voters a chance to go to a budget that doesn’t represent all the cuts that we’ve made. (Richard La Salle 12/9/2010)

RSA describes the Default Budget as…

40:13.IX.(b) “Default budget” as used in this subdivision means the amount of the same appropriations as contained in the operating budget authorized for the previous year, reduced and increased, as the case may be, by debt service, contracts, and other obligations previously incurred or mandated by law, and reduced by one-time expenditures contained in the operating budget. For the purposes of this paragraph, one-time expenditures shall be appropriations not likely to recur in the succeeding budget, as determined by the governing body, unless the provisions of RSA 40:14-b are adopted, of the local political subdivision. (RSA 40:13 Use of Official Ballot)

This is clearly different than ‘what was approved last time’ or ‘a budget with no cuts.’  Mr. La Salle knows this and, in fact, uses other tactics to inflate the Default Budget.   The Superintendent collects ‘one-time expenditures’ into bigger buckets.  Facilities projects, for instance, disappear into annual maintenance.

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