Nashua considers $262M budget

NASHUA – City leaders agreed to delay a final vote on the city’s $262 million budget for fiscal year 2019, as members hope to first view a clearer picture on the city’s property valuation.

The budget was scheduled for a vote during the Tuesday Nashua Board of Alderman meeting, but the board decided to wait until the June 26 meeting before taking final action. Mayor Jim Donchess told board members the budget needs to be passed before the end of June to meet audit deadlines and other obligations.

Donchess said the budget, which is up is 1.6 percent over the current 2018 budget, is in line with the constraints of the currently defunct spending cap.

A lawsuit brought against the city last year resulted in a ruling that the spending cap is legally unenforceable. Regardless, Donchess kept the proposed budget more than $1 million lower than the 1.9-percent increase that would have been allowed if the spending cap were in force.

Donchess thanked the board members for bringing in the budget that keeps costs down while delivering city services.

The city hired the firm KRT Appraisal to conduct a city-wide property revaluation, as is required by the state every five years. There are concerns about the rise in value of residential property opposed to the value of commercial property. Alderman Ernest Jette said it is too early to tell what the valuation will do to the tax rates.

“We don’t know what’s going to happen yet,” Jette said.

Donchess has said he kept to a relatively lean budget out of concern for a potential spike in residential valuation. Donchess said KRT will not be able to provide a firm picture on the real estate valuations until the end of June.

Damien Fisher can be reached at 594-1245 or or @Telegraph_DF.