Waltham projects small deficit this school year

Will taxes rise? Too soon to tell

Waltham Elementary anticipates a small shortfall in its yearly budget — expenses exceeding revenues by less than 3% — but taxpayers are unlikely to see a tax increase.

Monday, Superintendent Kristi Eager unveiled a tentative budget showing more than $4.5 million in revenues but nearly $4.67 million in expenses, thanks mainly to changes in the district’s risk management plan.

If realized, Waltham will finish the 2022-23 school year more than $130,000 in the red.

Utica-area residents shouldn’t worry. Monday’s numbers are preliminary and school superintendents bet conservatively when anticipating their year-end totals. Even if the district does finish the year in the red, Waltham has banked nearly $5.7 million in reserves and can easily absorb a six-figure deficit.

And Eager said property taxes won’t necessarily rise.

“I am unsure on the tax rate but I am hoping it stays fairly similar to what it currently is at,” Eager said.

Anyone wishing to see the tentative budget can do so before the next board meeting on Wednesday, Sept. 21. The board will hold a budget hearing that day at 5:45 p.m. to field questions before beginning its business meeting at 6 p.m.