Municipal Appropriation Requirement (MAR) Waivers
According to FY 2012 legislative budget language, the MBLC may grant as many waivers of the Municipal Appropriation Requirement (MAR) as needed beyond the usual 10 waivers the Board has statutory authority to grant.
There is no limit on the number of years, or consecutive years, in which a municipality and its library may receive a MAR waiver.
Please see the "When a Library is Not Certified..." fact sheet for information about what occurs when a library is denied a waiver or is not certified for any other reason.
MAR Waiver Eligibility
To be eligible for a waiver of the MAR, a municipality and its library must:
- meet the minimum standards of library service, 605 C.M.R. 4.01
- submit a Petition for Waiver of the MAR with the State Aid Application
The MAR Waiver Process
Current Board policies:
- Petitions for an MAR waiver are reviewed by the Board of Library Commissioners, usually at their January meeting.
- If the net reduction in the library budget was more than 5% when compared to the adjusted municipal budget (as reported on the Total Municipal Operating Budget Worksheet), then the budget will be considered "disproportionately reduced." The municipality and its library must then present their waiver petition in person to the Board of Library Commissioners at their January board meeting.
- The Board of Library Commissioners reviews 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.
- The Board of Library Commissioners votes on the petitions for MAR waivers, usually at the February meeting.
To Apply for an MAR Waiver
Requests for waivers of the MAR must be submitted by the due date for the state aid application and must include the following items:
- a signed Petition for Waiver of the Municipal Appropriation Requirement.
- a completed Total Municipal Operating Budget/Disproportionate Cut Worksheet
- Municipal budget documents that support the budget figures for both years outlined in the Total Municipal Operating Budget/Disproportionate Cut Worksheet (e.g., copies of warrant articles, municipal budget summary pages, etc.)
- a statement from a municipal official:
a. citing the fiscal hardship surrounding the municipality's inability to meet the MAR
b. explaining the municipality's 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.
- One (1) cover letter from the library director & trustee chair, with enclosures if appropriate, explaining the library's budget process and reasons why the community did not comply with the MAR. (Examples of enclosures include: narratives from municipal officials describing the fiscal situation, text of referenda, etc.)
For more information, please contact Mary Rose Quinn at x220 or Liz Babbitt at x227.