This post expands upon the numbers in the first “stats post” and looks at the larger picture of municipal revenue, as defined by the Mass. Dept. of Revenue. The DOR tracks four categories of revenue sources: property tax (the total of residential, commercial, industrial, personal), state aid, local receipts (excise taxes, fees, investment income, hotel/meals tax, etc), and other (overlays, pay deferrals, deficits, etc). All of these terms are (more or less) defined here.
As you can see in the chart below showing FY10, Bolton, as expected, has a high component of property tax in its revenue mix, the highest among these comp towns in fact. Remember that the previous “stats post” suggested that Bolton is not necessarily an outlier in terms of the percentage of its overall property tax that is made up of residential property tax (we were around the middle of the other 1o towns in the chart). What the chart here says is that despite being in the middle of the comparable towns for residential, we are nonetheless the highest in terms of our reliance on all property taxes, including commercial.
The chart below pulls out just the non-property tax portion of the revenue sources from above for a better view of how Bolton fares among these comp towns. The differences in state aid and local receipts are a large differentiator. In the category of local receipts, we are the lowest of all these towns. In both Lancaster and Stow, for instance, property taxes makes up less than 80% of their total revenues (77% and 78%, respectively). In our case, property tax represents 85% of our revenues. Would love to understand why the big difference in non-property tax revenues.