Determining Eligibility for a Waiver of the FY2014 Municipal Appropriation Requirement (MAR)
FY2014 STATE AID TO PUBLIC LIBRARIES PROGRAM
The Board of Library Commissioners will consider requests for waivers of the FY2014 Municipal Appropriation Requirement (MAR) from municipalities that demonstrate fiscal hardship. Requests for waivers must include the following documentation and must be received by the MBLC State Aid and Data Coordination Unit with a postmark no later than October 10, 2013:
1. a signed Petition for Waiver of the FY2014 Municipal Appropriation Requirement.
And...with a postmark no later than November 14, 2013:
2. a completed FY2013/FY2014 Total Municipal Operating Budget Worksheet
3. supporting municipal budget document(s) (such as copies of warrant articles or summary pages from the municipal budget), listing the FY2013 and FY2014 total operating and departmental budgets for the municipality,
4. a statement from a municipal official:
a. citing the fiscal hardship surrounding the municipality's inability to meet the FY2014 MAR,
b. explaining the municipality's FY2014 budget process regarding the library,
c. providing evidence that any reduction to the library budget is not disproportionate relative to changes in other municipal departments and the overall municipal budget.
5. a cover letter from the library director and trustee chair, with enclosures if appropriate, explaining the library's FY2014 budget process and reasons why the community did not comply with the FY2014 MAR. (Examples of enclosures include: narratives from municipal officials describing the fiscal situation, text of referenda.)
The Waiver Review Process
According to Massachusetts General Laws, c.78, s19A:
"No city or town shall receive any money under this section in any year when the appropriation of said city or town for free public library services is below an amount equal to the average of its appropriation for free public library service for the three years immediately preceding, increased by two and one-half per cent of said average. Said board may, upon petition of a community, waive aforesaid requirement upon demonstration of fiscal hardship. "
The number of waivers available for FY2014 will not be determined until the budget language is final for FY2014.
1. Petitions for a waiver will be reviewed by the Board of Library Commissioners at their January 2014 meeting.
2. All petitioners for a waiver determined to have a disproportionate cut to their budget must present their petition in person at the January 2014 meeting.
3. The Board of Library Commissioners will review FY2014 MAR Waiver Petitions based on:
a. evidence of municipal fiscal hardship, and
b. demonstration by the municipality that the library's budget was not disproportionately reduced
4. The Board of Library Commissioners will vote on the petitions for waivers of the FY2014 MAR at their February 2014 meeting.
5. The Board will hear any appeals of the denial of an FY2014 MAR waiver at their March 2014 meeting.
6. The Board will act on any appeal at their April 2014 meeting.
7. The FY2014 State aid to Public Libraries Propgram officially concludes at the conclusion of the April 2014 Board of Library Commissioners meeting.
Initial Approval of Policy: February 7, 2002
FY2014 Approval Date: October 6, 2011
State Aid Policies are approved annually