In an effort to provide a more inclusive and transparent budget, the Town of Orleans is pleased to present our Financial Transparency portal. The Town partnered with OpenGov to provide a new web-based financial transparency and business intelligence tool that dynamically presents the Town's financial information, from historical trends to line-item level details.
By leveraging the OpenGov platform, residents can use this website to have around-the-clock access and a better understanding of the Town's budget and actual financial data.
There's nothing quite like being able to examine financial data by yourself by viewing charts and graphs or downloading the information into a spreadsheet. This resource is a part of the Town's ongoing effort to enhance transparency and public engagement.
To access the OpenGov Financial Transparency portal, click here or scroll to the bottom of page for the portal link and helpful tips on usage.
FY 2023 Financial Performance
General Fund Revenue
FY 2023 actual performance outpaced initial projections and FY 2022 due to a resilient local economy, which was largely driven by a robust housing market and the return of services to pre-COVID levels. In addition, interest earnings on higher cash balances substantially exceeded projections due to the increase in interest rates during the year. The drop from FY 2021 to FY 2022 is the direct result of moving to Enterprise Funds for Beaches, Moorings, Rock Harbor, Transfer Station and Sewer operations.
General Fund Expenses
Post-pandemic costs of core services (both personnel and supply chain) continue to grow at levels that exceed Proposition 2 1/2 constraints. However, FY 2023 actual expenses were lower than budgeted due primarily to employee turnover and the inability to fill open positions. In addition, actual expenses incurred to complete various special projects came in below projected budget levels.
Water Fund Revenue
Although FY 2023 actual revenues came in higher than FY 2022, it actually fell short of reaching its revenue projections due to drought-related conditions and mandatory watering restrictions.
Water Fund Expenses
FY 2023 actual expenses grew versus FY 2022 but not at projected budgeted level due primarily to staffing challenges and the completion of capital projects under budget. he
Enterprise Fund Revenue
Enterprise Funds were adopted in FY 2022 to provide transparency of the true cost of the Beaches, Transfer Station, Moorings, Rock Harbor Boat Basin, and Sewer operations. On an annual basis, the Select Board sets the policy to fund these operations through a composition of funding sources including user fees, tax levy or other available revenue subsidy. For FY 2023, the Beaches and Mooring operations were funded 100% from user fees. The Rock Harbor Boat Basin operation was funded by 61% user fees and a 39% tax levy subsidy. The Transfer Station operation was funded by 63% user fees and a 37% tax levy subsidy. The Sewer operations was funded by a transfer from the Wastewater Stabilization Fund and modest revenue that was generated as a result of the Sewer Treatment Plant becoming fully operational in March 2023. For FY 2023, no debt service was paid from the Enterprise Funds.
The Beaches Enterprise Fund fell short of FY 2022 actuals and FY 2023 estimated revenue projections due to weather conditions and outer beach closures.
The Moorings Enterprise Fund exceeded FY 2022 actuals and FY 2023 revenue projections due to the increase in recreational mooring fees.
The Rock Harbor Boat Basin Enterprise Fund exceeded FY 2022 actuals and FY 2023 revenue projections due to an increase in fuel charges.
Although the Transfer Station Enterprise Fund exceeded FY 2022 actuals, FY 2023 revenues fell short of revenue projections due to fewer commercial and residential sticker sales.
Enterprise Fund Expenses
FY 2023 actual expenses were higher than FY 2022 as a result of post-pandemic cost of core services, as well as the contracted costs associated with the start-up of the Sewer Treatment Plant. However, FY 2023 actual expenditures were lower than budgeted due to the late start-up of the Plant and the close out of budgeted capital surplus (which was expected as it is essentially a savings reserve for future capital expenses). into further detail about the data or media being shown. Think about how the visualizations help tell your story. Make your content more accessible by writing short sentences, choosing words and phrases you’d use when talking to a neighbor, and avoiding jargon.
Community Preservation Act Fund Revenue
Through the imposition of a 3% surcharge on the Town's real estate tax levy, the Community Preservation Act (CPA) provides the Town with funding for open space protection, historic preservation, affordable housing and outdoor recreation. The State, through the Mass. Department of Revenue (DOR), provides supplementary revenue annually which has historically been equal to upwards of 40% of the Town's surcharge. FY 2022 was significantly higher than other years due to the issuance of Bonds to fund a CPA approved project.
Community Preservation Act Fund Expenses
At the annual town meeting, the Town adopts a budget for the Community Preservation Act Fund. The budget includes a list of projects as well as other fund related expenses (debt service and administrative expenses). Projects often take more than one year to complete. The above chart illustrates the expenses paid during each fiscal year for pre-approved projects.
Healthy Financial Reserves Achieved
Adequate financial reserves (a.k.a. savings account or rainy day fund) are critical to a Town's overall fiscal stability by providing a resource to sustain operations during difficult economic periods, as well as protection from unforeseeable risks. Healthy reserves also positively impact a community’s credit rating and, in turn, reduce the overall long-term cost to finance major projects.
In FY 2021, the Select Board adopted a formal reserve policy that established guidelines based on recommendations from industry experts. The policy sets reserve targets and acceptable uses, and Town meeting continues to support the policy through votes to transfer funds to maintain these targets.
FY 2023 Grant Awards
Town departments continue to apply for grant opportunities in an effort to reduce reliance on the tax rate for projects and services. The above list represents grants awarded during FY 2023.
Debt Service represents the annual amount paid from the budget for principal and interest on long and short-term debt.
The above chart illustrates the FY 2023 expenses paid for significant, multi-year capital projects. These costs are usually funded by debt.
Special Purpose Funds
These include funds given to the Town for a particular purpose - such as endowments, grant receipts, gifts, donations and other special purpose funds that have been adopted by Town Meeting (such as Affordable Housing Trust and Stabilization funds)
General Fund Revenue - Projection vs. Actual
FY 2024 General Fund Revenue Projections are shown in the LEFT column above, and the FY 2024 Actuals-To-Date are reflected in the RIGHT column.
General Fund Expenses - Budget vs. Actual
FY 2024 General Fund Budgeted Expenses are shown in the LEFT column above, and the FY 2024 Actuals-To-Date are reflected in the RIGHT column.
Water Fund Revenue - Projection vs. Actual
FY 2024 Water Fund Revenue Projections are shown in the LEFT column above, and the FY 2024 Actuals-To-Date are reflected in the RIGHT column.
Water Fund Expenses - Budget vs. Actual
FY 2024 Water Fund Budgeted Expenses are shown in the LEFT column above, and the FY 2024 Actuals-To-Date are reflected in the RIGHT column.
Enterprise Fund Revenue - Projection vs. Actual
FY 2024 Enterprise Fund Revenue Projections are shown in the LEFT column above, and the FY 2024 Actuals-To-Date are reflected in the RIGHT column.
Enterprise Fund Expenses - Budget vs. Actual
FY 2024 Enterprise Fund Budgeted Expenses are shown in the LEFT column above, and the FY 2024 Actuals-To-Date are reflected in the RIGHT column.
Community Preservation Act Fund Revenue - Projection vs. Actual
FY 2024 Community Preservation Act Fund Revenue Projections are shown in the LEFT column above, and the FY 2024 Actuals-To-Date are reflected in the RIGHT column.
Community Preservation Act Fund Expenses - Budget vs. Actual
FY 2024 Community Preservation Act Fund Budgeted Expenses are shown in the LEFT column above, and the FY 2024 Actuals-To-Date are reflected in the RIGHT column.
Other Financial Reports
Please see additional financial reports located on the Town's website here.
Tips on Using our OpenGov Portal:
- The portal allows you to explore budget and historical finances in a simple graphical user interface. The main view includes a chart or graph, a legend and various controls to view revenues and expenses by department.
- You can access the portal either by the aside link or by clicking in any of the graphs located above.
- There are five different types of visual representations of the data - an area graph, an area graph by percentage, a line graph, a pie chart and a table. You can change your view at any time by simply selecting the different type of representation. The data will automatically convert. These functions are on the top right.
- You'll notice the title of the chart or graph you are viewing on the top along with the account type selector. You can use the filter to see the data that is of most interest to you.
- To focus on specific data - like an expense type, revenue type, or any combination - look to the left and use the menu on the side panel. These selectors allow you to specify exactly what breakdown you want the graph or table to represent. When you select "Filtered By" the data filter pops up and allows you to turn on or turn off selected filters for that category.
- You can also download the data into a spreadsheet (.csv).
- You can share the data, in any view, on a social network or by email.