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Spending on Cities and Towns

Cities and Towns Each year, Massachusetts cities and towns receive funds from the Commonwealth. These funds are used for diverse purposes, from buying the town a new fire engine to subsidizing after school programs for children.
 
  1. Certification of Payments to Cities and Towns: Each year the Office of the Comptroller receives requests from CPA firms representing cities and towns for official certification of payments. Email comptroller.info@state.ma.us


  2. Cherry Sheet and non-Cherry Sheet Payments: Each year, Massachusetts cities and towns receive funds from the Commonwealth. These funds are used for diverse purposes, from buying the town a new fire engine to subsidizing after school programs for children. State financial transactions for cities and towns involve payments and offsets from several sources. Transactions reported on this website involve two major categories of financial activity:

    • “Cherry Sheet payments” refer to the official notification by the Commissioner of Revenue to municipalities and regional school districts of state aid payments and charges to be assessed. Cherry Sheet payments involve local aid payments for revenue sharing or for specific purposes defined in the appropriation act as well as assessments (deductions from the local aid payments) to cover approved expenditures being charged to the city/town. Assessments can include: municipal share of MBTA costs as well as payments to regional and charter schools for students from the municipality.


    • Non-Cherry Sheet payments are other payments made to a city or town for specific programs or for services provided. Non-Cherry Sheet payments can include grants for specific purposes (ex. FEMA assistance for communities with severe flooding) as well as transfer of motor vehicle revenue collected by the Registry on behalf of the municipality or payment for service provided to a department). Occasionally, the city/town were receive a refund from the state – these are clearly defined as “refunds” in the detailed query. There are no deductions from non-Cherry Sheet payments. The attached queries provide summarized and detail data on payments to cities and town. It may take more than a minute or two for this query to return results since it is going against a large database.