Finance Departments

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At the April 21, 2020 Select Board meeting, the Board voted to adopt three local options offered by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts that impact timing of the payment of tax bills.

The key changes are:

  • Real Estate Tax Bill due date has moved from May 1, 2020 to June 1, 2020.
  • Any bill with a due date after March 10, 2020 are payable before June 30, 2020 with no interest or penalty
  • Application deadline for exemptions and deferrals has moved from April 1 to June 1, 2020.

The financial departments, which include Accounting, Treasurer, Collector, Assessors, and Finance Commission, interact on a regular basis, sharing information and working cooperatively on routine financial operations and special projects. This team approach includes not only the appointed staff of these departments, but also elected officials, and has been highly supported by the Town Administrator and Board of Selectmen. Such team cooperation is the foundation for giving a small community such as Westwood the opportunity to achieve top recognition. 

The Town manages its financial affairs in a prudent manner, primarily through considerable long-term planning and strong financial policies.  It has maintained a high bond rating by incorporating long range planning tools such as a five-year Capital Improvement Program; maintaining reserve balances despite tight budgets; investing in technology to ensure efficient operations; and maintaining an aggressive pay as you go financing strategy for capital improvements.  The Town’s long-term policies will preserve its strong financial position for the foreseeable future. 

The Finance Director is responsible for preparing and presenting the budget to the Board of Selectmen.  The Selectmen review all requests and Town wide issues and present a budget to Town Meeting for approval.  A fifteen member Finance Commission reviews the budget and makes recommendations to Town Meeting.   

The level of budgetary control is established by Town Meeting and this approval defines the level at which expenditures may not exceed appropriations.  This level is typically at the individual department salary and expense level.  The Town Accountant is responsible for ensuring all payroll and invoices are within the budgetary control level before authorizing payment.  Additional appropriations may be approved at subsequent Town Meetings.  The Finance Commission, upon request by the Board of Selectmen, may approve during the year a transfer from a reserve fund established at Town Meeting.  These controls ensure compliance with the budget approved by Town Meeting. 

Please utilize the links in the left hand column to find information.