Expense Line Items
The Town’s budget contains an estimate of all identified costs incurred to accomplish a particular goal and lists all outlays made to provide the programs and services within the approved budget. The following is an explanation of the primary expense line items.

Omnibus Budget-General Government: Expenditures for town programs and services other than local schools, regional school, and benefits and insurance. Includes police, fire, public works, community center, library, etc.

Omnibus Budget-Local Schools: Expenditures for Ashland Public Schools (link to public school budget)

Omnibus Budget-Keefe: Assessment for Ashland students enrolled at South Middlesex Regional School. Enrollment is based on number of students as of October 1 of the previous year.

Omnibus Budget-Benefits and Insurance: Benefits and insurance beyond direct salaries and wages paid to employees. These are fixed costs that are legally or contractually mandated and include retirement, workers’ compensation, unemployment, health insurance, life insurance and any other employee benefit.

Debt Service: The repayment cost of the principal and interest on bond issues.

Enterprise Funds: See section under revenue. Total cost of delivering service is recovered through user charges. With enterprise funds, all costs of service delivery-direct, indirect, and capital costs-are identified.

Reserve Fund: An amount set aside annually to provide a funding source for extraordinary or unforeseen expenditures. The Finance Committee can authorize transfers from the reserve fund.

Stabilization Fund: See section under revenue.

Overlay: An account established annually to fund anticipated tax abatements, exemptions and uncollected taxes. The over is not established by the normal appropriation process, but rather is raised on the tax recap sheet.

Offset Items: Type of state aid distributed via the Cherry Sheet. An offset item constitutes categorical aid as such the funds must be spent for specific municipal programs.

State Charges: Cherry Sheet charges that include payments for mosquito control, MBTA, etc.

Charter School Assessments: Payments for Ashland students attending local charter schools.

School Choice Assessments: Payments as a “sending” district under school choice.

Warrant Articles: An authorization for an action.

Net Available Headroom: the difference between total revenues and total expenses.