Amherst Town Council voted unanimously at their meeting of February 27, 2023 to schedule a debt exclusion override vote on May 2, 2023, to finance the new K–5 elementary school at the Fort River site. If the measure passes, it will allow the town to increase property taxes more than the 2-1/2 % annual increase allowed by state law with the increase continuing for about 30 years, until the project is paid off. The debt is estimated to raise the taxes on the average Amherst home by $451 a year starting in 2026.
The wording on the ballot is specified by the state, and cannot be altered. It states:
Shall the city known as the Town of Amherst be allowed to exempt from the provisions of Proposition two-and-one-half, so called, the amounts required to pay for the bonds issued in order to construct, originally equip and furnish an elementary school on the Fort River site, located at 70 South East Street, Amherst, Massachusetts, including the cost of architectural design, project management, demolition of the existing building and other necessary site improvements and all costs incidental and related thereto?
A yes vote will allow the town to raise taxes sufficiently to pay for the project.
A no vote would prevent the town from raising taxes to pay for the project.
The Town Council, at their meeting of April 3, 2023, authorized the borrowing of $92,492,295 for construction of the new elementary school, pending approval of the May 2 overridem
. Roughly half of this sum is expected to be reimbursed from the Massachusetts School Building Authority (MSBA), from reserves allocated from the capital stabilization fund, and from other funds previously allotted to the project.
Election deadlines are as follows:
The full election warrant, which includes voting information, can be found here. Voters are advised that the new district boundaries are in effect for this election. Find your polling place below.
The Town of Amherst is divided into ten Precincts, organized into five Districts. See table below to view your Precinct and polling location as well as your corresponding District.
NEW PRECINCT LOCATER LISTS
To locate your new precinct, click the first letter of your street name in the table below.
You may also go to the State Elections Division website to look up your polling location.