Oak Bluffs voters will face a new round of tough financial decisions at the annual town meeting Tuesday, beginning with a $24.7 million operating budget that the town may or may not be able to afford, and ending with a dozen override questions totaling $647,000 that put voters between a rock and a hard place: pay more taxes or do without.

Money for lifeguards at town beaches, police, fire and assessors’ salaries, shellfish department, elementary school and paving of town roads are among the things singled out as Proposition 2 1/2 override questions this year. The questions appear on the warrant and on the annual town election ballot.

The town meeting begins Tuesday at 7 p.m. at the Performing Arts Center at the Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School, first with a special town meeting immediately followed by the annual town meeting. Moderator David Richardson will preside.

Next year’s budget is a five per cent increase over the current fiscal year, crafted on the assumption that voters will approve several articles projected to boost revenue, including an increase in the town meals tax, extra ferry fees and trash collection fees.

Last month selectmen went against the recommendation of the finance advisory committee and voted to apply $100,000 in anticipated additional room taxes toward a series of salary increases for town employees.

The finance committee had recommended putting the annual step raises on an override question. If voters rejected the override, the town would still be obligated to pay, and officials would have been required to cut the budget elsewhere, triggering the need for a special town meeting.

But selectmen instead decided to put the raises back into the budget, betting on the anticipated revenue from a new hotel tax.

The $24.7 million budget does not include the override questions, which are aimed at restoring drastic cuts made to the budget last year.

It all adds up to a confusing picture for voters as they tackle the 30-article warrant.

Finance committee chairman Mimi Davisson said the decision to move more spending items onto override questions was aimed at giving voters more direct control over town finances. “My sense is that a lot of people are in the mood for belt-tightening,” she said, adding: “This has been a tough year, and I don’t have a lot of confidence some of these overrides are going to pass.”

Town administrator Michael Dutton agreed.

“We never thought all these [overrides] would pass. What the finance committee and selectmen did this year was give people the choice of what they want funded and didn’t want funded. If people decide they don’t want something funded, then that [staff position] or program will not happen this year. It’s that simple,” he said.

Two articles to hike hotel and meals taxes have already raised some eyebrows around town with business owners. If approved, Oak Bluffs would be the only town on the Island to adopt the higher tax structure. All the other Island towns discussed the idea this spring, but decided against taking it to town meeting.

Selectman Ronald DiOrio said he supports the tax hike, and he defended the selectmen’s decision to put $100,000 in anticipated revenue into the budget.

“[The higher hotel tax] has already been enacted, along with a higher meals tax, in over 80 communities. And will be by another 250, by the time we get through the fall town meeting. And in all those 80 communities the revenues are running substantially higher than they projected. So I think [$100,000] is a very safe number to use here,” he said.

Caleb Caldwell, owner of the Madison Inn and Nashua House, strongly opposes the tax increase. He said hotels and inns already collect a 9.7 per cent tax on each room, and an additional two per cent could tip the apple cart.

“I know two per cent doesn’t sound like a lot, but there is already a substantial tax on these rooms. It gets to the point where people can’t afford it. I’m not sure this will dissuade people from renting a room in town, but it won’t help. It will also give the other towns who didn’t adopt [the higher tax] a huge advantage,” he said.

Peter Martell, a former selectman and owner of the Wesley Hotel, disagreed.

“It’s not going to change a thing. People who are planning to come here are still going to come here. We increased the tax several years ago, and a lot of [hotel and inn] owners made a fuss, but it didn’t really change a thing. The town needs the money, so I say we do it,” he said.

Other override questions have also been divisive. The finance committee split 4-3 on the question of restoring funding to police salaries. The committee also voted against the override to increase volunteer fire department salaries by $67,546, which among other things would up fire chief Peter Forend’s salary from $12,000 to $42,000.

Finance committee opinions for and against every article are explained in detail, making the warrant a heavy reading affair for voters.

In addition to budget issues, a number of other articles are expected to generate discussion. One would establish a town affordable housing trust and fund it with $100,000 of Community Preservation Act money.

Voters will be asked to put $132,000 in CPA money toward the rental assistance program, an Islandwide initiative.

Other CPA requests include $44,000 to restore Niantic Park and picnic pavilion, and $49,500 as a town match for a drainage study and watershed survey of Waban Park. Voters will also be asked to contribute $10,201 in CPA money to the Edgartown courthouse window restoration project, another Islandwide initiative.

A bylaw to ban smoking on town beaches and the David Healy memorial square in the center of town is up for a vote.

“It’s sort of a no-brainer, we don’t want people trying to enjoy a day at the beach sucking in someone’s second hand smoke. Right now in the summer we are picking up piles and piles of cigarette butts every day from the beaches. That has to stop,” said selectman and board chairman Gregory Coogan.

Another bylaw would require licensing of street performers.

Mr. Coogan said the proposal came about after some downtown businesses complained about one performer last summer.

“Don’t get me wrong, the guy was talented and people loved him. We just heard from some of the restaurants and shops that he was causing a disturbance,” he said.

Voters will also consider an article to adopt new federal flood maps that are necessary for certain residents to be eligible for federal flood insurance, and a new bylaw for wind turbine regulations.

And with all that, voters may want to clear their calendars; the meeting is expected to run for more than one night.