Debt Exclusion 2023

A Town-wide Debt Exclusion vote is scheduled for May 2nd, 2023. This vote will determine whether the Town can levy additional property taxes beyond the limits of Proposition 2 and 1/2 in order to pay for the annual debt service costs of a new elementary school located at the Fort River site.

The proposed new Fort River Elementary School will replace the Wildwood and Fort River Elementary Schools with one new school at the Fort River site. The District plans to move the sixth grade to the Middle School. The new three-story school will serve 575 children in grades kindergarten through 5th.

The school will have 21st Century learning environments, with flexible teaching spaces in daylight filled classrooms and shared spaces. It will be home for Special Needs and the Caminantes dual language programs. The cafeteria will include a stage and connection to music rooms. The design will allow for secure after-hours use of the community spaces (cafetorium, gym, library). The building will have safe entrances/exits and be fully accessible. Site plans provide for outdoor learning as well as play. The project will restore and improve drainage of Fort River’s community fields for recreational use by children and the broader community. 

Reflecting Amherst’s climate goals, the building will be highly insulated and use all-electric and renewable energy systems. It will be a net-zero building using ground source heat pumps for heating, air, and ventilation and on-site photovoltaic system for renewable energy. 

Below, you will find a tool to estimate the tax impact on your property from passage of the debt exclusion and a listing of frequently asked questions and answers. On the right side of this page, please see links to additional information on the design of the school, the Elementary School Building Committee and information on programs available to support residents experiencing financial struggles.


The estimated annual impact of the debt exclusion is $1.01 per $1,000 of assessed property value. It is estimated that the annual impact of the debt exclusion on the FY 2023 average single family residence in Amherst, valued at $446,953, is $451 ($446,953 / $1,000 X $1.01). These estimates are based on current economic conditions and are, of course, subject to change if economic conditions, such as interest rates, change.

Use the tool below or to access it in a new window, click here.

Frequently asked questions

Please use the small arrows to expand the question you would like to see the answer for. To view the entire category at once, please click the category heading or click "View All Questions in This Category" at the end of each category's question list. 

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