Governor Charlie Baker signs off on Lynn’s $14 million loan

FILE - In this Monday, March 14, 2016 file photo, Gov. Charlie Baker becomes emotional as he speaks after signing sweeping legislation aimed at reversing a deadly opioid addiction crisis, at the Statehouse in Boston. A spokesman for Baker, a Republican who served on the Trump commission on opioids, said, “Governor Baker encourages members of Congress to work together on a plan forward to fully fund the bipartisan recommendations.” (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)
Gov. Charlie Baker during a press conference in March. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)

LYNN — Gov. Charlie Baker and the Legislature signed off on a $14 million loan this week to fix the city’s financial woes.

Because tax bills can’t be mailed until the city has a balanced budget and that won’t happen until City Hall secures cash from the loan, fourth quarter tax bills will be mailed a month late, on May 1.

“We can’t send the bills out until we have money from the loan in hand,” said Peter Caron, the city’s chief financial officer. “And we won’t close on the loan until late April.”

Historically, real estate tax bills are sent on April 1. Property owners will still have 30 days to pay.

The 10-year loan is intended to close the $8.1 million budget deficit the city is facing this year and the approximately $3.5 million deficit it could have next year, according to Mayor Thomas M. McGee.

The new trash fee will also make its debut in May. Homeowners must pay $45 twice a year. There’s a $20 discount per bill for seniors 69 and over. Condominiums, nonprofits and commercial properties who hire their own trash collectors are exempt.

The trash fee is expected to generate about $2 million annually. Other new sources of revenue include money from the marijuana clinics that are expected to contribute 6 percent of gross revenues to the city’s coffers.

Initially, the city plans to borrow $9.5 million to get City Hall though the fiscal year which ends on June 30.

“Our deficit for this fiscal year is about $8.4 million,” Caron said. “There’s a little extra in there in case any issues arise.”

The rest of the money, $4.5 million, will be borrowed in December as the city prepares to set the tax rate for next year.

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