Definitions of Terms Used at Town Meeting

  • Budget - Financial plan for the fiscal year of proposed expenditures and proposed means of financing them.
  • Fiscal Year - The town fiscal year for the proposed budget begins on July 1 and ends on June 30.
  • Levy Limit - Under Proposition 2 1/2 the maximum amount that the town can raise in property taxes is 2-½% more than the maximum it was allowed to raise for the prior fiscal year plus adjustment for growth.
  • Free Cash - The amount of surplus revenue not spent from previous fiscal year over and above uncollected taxes that is certified by the State. It is available for appropriation by Town Meeting.
  • Reserve Fund - The fund established by Town Meeting for extraordinary or unforeseen expenditures. Transfers from fund need to be approved by the Finance Committee.
  • Cherry Sheet - Named for the color of the paper traditionally printed on, details the estimated State aid to be received by the Town.
  • 2 1/2 Override - A referendum procedure in which the Town can vote to permanently increase its levy limit.
  • Capital Exclusion - A referendum procedure in which the Town can vote to collect property taxes in excess of its levy limit to pay for a specified period of time.
  • Debt Exclusion - A referendum procedure in which the Town can vote to collect property taxes in excess of its levy limit to pay for a specific expenditure (usually for a specific time period).
  • Majority Vote - A vote of one half plus one of the Town Meeting Members present to pass an article.
  • 2/3rds Majority Vote - The appropriation of money requires a vote of 2/3rds of the Town Meeting Members present to pass an article.
  • Declared Vote - The Moderator may decide the sense of Town Meeting by a voice vote. If seven or more members question the vote immediately, the Moderator will ask for a standing vote and declare the counted vote as final.
  • Unanimous Vote - A vote of all the Town Meeting Members present.
  • Move the Question - A motion to vote to end debate on a pending motion. May not be preceded by an opinion on the motion by the maker.
  • Reconsideration - To introduce new information that may change the vote of an article that has already been voted upon.
  • Point of Order - A question directed to the Moderator concerning a procedure of the meeting.