Interested in learning about town budgets, finances and taxes? Here are the key places to start reading, including official town reports, and many ways to visualize or compare Arlington finances to comparable towns.


Financial & Budget Information - Overview 

On the town’s financial homepage there are links to different ways to either visualize the budget, or to see specific kinds of financial reports, like budgets, expenses, audits, the Finance and Capital Planning Committees, and more.

Visualization of Arlington's Budgets/Expenses 

Easy-to-use visualizer tool to see where town tax dollars go in a visual map, both in the past and in the future. See either Revenues or Expenses, and use the year at the top right to explore over time.

Data visualizations/Infographics about Arlington (Cleargov) 

Infographics and simple data visualizations about basic town demographics and finances, including comparisons to other eastern MA towns in terms of numbers (financial included). High level information in a simple to read format.

Envision Arlington ABC's Of Town Government (pp12) 

A primer and overview of how town government works, with org charts and descriptions of key town bodies; a great place to start to see which boards/departments do what.

Arlington's Open Checkbook Of Expenses Paid 

Checkbook viewer to see actual expenses paid by different town departments - encourages you to explore specific departments, vendors, or dates. Also includes a separate Payroll Summary.

Town Manager's Annual Budget & Financial Reports - Overview 

Official Town Manager submitted budgets for the town, as presented to Town Meeting. Includes back to FY2007. Entire budgets are large 250 page PDF documents; starting with individual sections may be easier.

Town Manager's FY2020 Annual Budget & Financial Reports - Overview 
15-June-2020

Town Manager’s current FY2020 budget. For a quick 2020 overview, read Section III Budget Summaries (12 pages).

FY2020 Pay and Classification Plan (Warrant Article 48)(pp17) 
15-June-2020

Detailed salary and pay scales for town employees submitted to Town Meeting, including union and non-union positions.

APS Official School Budget Information  (see also)

School department overall budget page, including actual budgets from past years, and detailed financial reporting in some cases. The School budget is the largest in town, and is managed by the School Committee directly.

APS FY21 School Superintendent Budget to Town Meeting (pp79)  (see also)
15-June-2020

FY21 requested School Budget approved by School Committee and submitted to Town Meeting, with complete details.

APS Draft Five-Year Budget Plan 2020-2024 (pp25)  (see also)
11-April-2019

High-level five year plan for school budgets, with projections for enrollment and maintenance.

Capital Planning Cmmtee Reports to Town Meeting  (see also)

The Capital Planning Committee was established by the 1986 Arlington Town Meeting to assist the Town Manager in preparing a multi-year capital plan. The Capital Planning Committee prepares a report to Town Meeting that contains detailed financial information relating to Arlington’s multi-year Capital Improvement Program.

Finance Committee Homepage  (see also)

The Arlington Finance Committee (FinCom) is a standing committee of the Town Meeting. Its purpose is to recommend a vote to Town Meeting on the Town budget and all articles that require an appropriation. The FinCom reviews each department’s budget in detail and holds hearings on Town Meeting appropriation articles…

Assessor's Office - Property & Excise Tax Information  (see also)

Assessor office homepage with formal tax classifications about propery, excise (cars), and other town taxes.

Treasurer/Collector Homepage And Tax Payments 

The Office of the Treasurer and Collector of Taxes consists of five divisions headed by the Treasurer/Collector of Taxes. The five divisions are: Treasury, Collector, Payroll, Parking Clerk, and service support divisions. Includes explanations of property taxes and ways to pay town bills.

Census & Demographic Data Visualizations for Arlington (DataUSA) 

Another data visualizer, focusing on showing detailed charts and year-over-year changes drawing on many different US Census and other official sources.

Municipal Finance Trends Dashboard - Comparisons 

MA State dashboard comparing basic financials across different communities, and includes the Community Comparison Report to choose which towns to compare.

Audited Financial Statements For Arlington 

The Town of Arlington annually contracts with a private auditing firm for the purposes of auditing the Town’s accounts, funds and preparing financial statements for all governmental activities; results of audits since 2001 are posted here.

Town Employees' Homepage And Handbook 

Town civil service pay grades, employee handbook, job benefits, and more from the town’s HR department.

ACMi Video Coverage Of Finance Committee Meetings 

ACMi records all regular Finance Committee Meetings when they meet in early spring to review the budget before town meeting.

Fiscal '21 manager's budget could change at Town Meeting 
25-April-2020

News coverage of potential changes due to COVID in FY21 proposed budget from the Town Manager.

Fiscal '21 town budget aims to boost DPW, school officer, librarian, records 
28-Jan-2020

News coverage of the FY21 proposed budget from the Town Manager.

$24.7M in cuts bring budget for rebuilt AHS into line 
21-Dec-2019

News coverage of AHS rebuild budget cuts to reduce costs; includes links to past news stories on AHS rebuild issues.

Town tax rate drops again, as values continue to rise 
04-Dec-2019

News story reviewing how the property tax rate is dropping, due to assessed values going up as a whole.

Arlington Town Salaries: Who Made The Most In 2018? 
13-Feb-2019

News coverage on published 2018 town employee salaries, commenting on highest earners, and linking to a complete town salary list.

Select Board commits to June debt exclusion, operating override 
24-Jan-2019

News about the Select Board’s actions around the preliminary FY20 budget, with discussion or debt exclusions.