For Immediate Release
April 13, 2011
For More Information Contact:
Mayor's Press Office
“Boston’s budget works because it brings people together.” – Mayor Menino
Today, Mayor Thomas M. Menino presented his $2.4 billion Operating Budget for Fiscal Year 2012 and five year $1.7 billion Capital Plan, including $168.7 million in new FY 2012 project authorizations. These projects reinforce the Mayor’s priorities to build a comprehensive youth development strategy, enhance government’s personal connection to the neighborhoods and foster job creation by emphasizing collaboration among government, business and non-profit leaders.
“At a time of deep division at the federal level over government spending, it is important to note that Boston’s FY12 budget works because it brings people together,” said Mayor Menino. “We will continue to encourage collaboration among our partners and seek out innovative ways to improve services, foster business growth, and bolster opportunities and support systems for young people in a way that is sustainable and prosperous for all Bostonians for years to come.”
The $2.4 billion recommended FY 2012 Operating Budget features a modest 2.5-percent growth over last year’s budget, an increase of $58.7 million. Property taxes continue to be the City’s largest source of revenue, along with hotel, meals and other excise tax revenue. The City’s second largest source of revenue, state aid from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, is expected to decline by more than $37 million from FY 2011 budgeted levels. Another effect of the recession, state aid has consistently declined over the last 10 years, falling $218 million since 2002.
One of the biggest expenses for the City of Boston and many municipalities in the Commonwealth continues to be the rapidly rising cost of employee health care. This year, the City of Boston will spend $315 million, 13-percent of the total budget, on employee health premiums. The City’s health care expenses have increased 142-percent over the last decade, far outpacing the rate of inflation and revenue growth.
The FY 2012 budget highlights collaboration:
- Recreation Hub: Boston Centers for Youth and Families will continue to foster partnerships to create a “Recreation Hub” for the City of Boston, repurposing the Madison Park Community Center and establishing a new headquarters for the BCYF recreation division.
- Boston Summer Learning Project: BPS will partner with Boston After School & Beyond to expand summer learning opportunities for 1,500 students.
- Youth Violence: The City will bolster the Partners Advancing Communities Together (PACT) program to prevent youth violence. The PACT Services Initiative, a program led by the Boston Public Health Commission, will support PACT by targeting services for youth most at risk of being impacted by gun violence. City agencies will also work together to create a Family Information Center to help coordinate outreach and assistance to at-risk families.
- Summer Jobs for Youth: The FY 2012 budget will again maintain funding levels for the Mayor’s Summer Jobs Program.
- Renew Boston: The City will expand this partnership between utility providers, community-based organizations and several City agencies to increase access to energy efficiency services and green jobs throughout the city.
The City’s $1.7 billion five-year capital plan is a 12-percent increase over the FY 2011 capital plan. The capital budget features $169 million worth of new project authorizations in 2012. Significant capital projects slated for funding in FY 2012 include:
- The Dudley Plan: Mayor Menino will advance his plan to revitalize Dudley Square, redeveloping the site of the former Ferdinand’s Furniture building as the new headquarters of the Boston Public Schools. The project plans to break ground in 2012.
- Redesign and Reinvest: The City plans to invest in major infrastructure upgrades for City buildings and facilities including schools, community centers, and libraries.
- Business Resource Center: The City will create a one-stop permitting center to make it easier for business owners to get the applications and guidance they need to start their business. The Center will bring together permitting agencies to streamline the process and make doing business with the City easier and more accessible.
“This budget continues the work of transforming and strengthening our schools and community centers, focusing not on the number of physical buildings they occupy but what goes on in them,” said Mayor Menino. “Through collaboration among City departments, partnerships with nonprofit and community groups, as well as capital investments, we will continue to win Boston’s future by providing transformative education, innovative business opportunities, and quality services for all residents of Boston.”