For Immediate Release
June 27, 2012
For More Information Contact:
Mayor's Press Office
The Boston City Council today unanimously approved the Fiscal Year 2013 budget submitted by Mayor Thomas M. Menino. The $2.5 billion Operating Budget and five year $1.8 billion Capital Plan were approved by a 13-0 vote. The Boston Public Schools budget was also approved, with a vote of 12-1. Fiscal Year 2013 begins on July 1, 2012.
“I am pleased that the City Council approved a budget that continues to invest in our strengths, builds relationships, and engages our partners. I would like to thank Council President Murphy and Ways and Means Chair Ciommo for their leadership in supporting a budget that works for the people of Boston,” Mayor Menino said. “This budget helps expand access to quality schools, empowers neighbors to engage in their communities, promotes healthy living, and ensures Boston’s prosperity for years to come.”
The budget and capital plan, which includes $215 million in new FY 2013 project authorizations, reinforces 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.
The $2.5 billion FY 2013 Operating Budget is a 3-percent growth over last year’s budget, an increase of $72 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, net state aid from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, is expected to increase by $3.6 million from FY 2012.
One of the biggest savings for the City of Boston and many municipalities in the Commonwealth this year, in a stark contrast to last year, is the cost of employee health care. Thanks to the groundbreaking municipal health care agreement the City reached with union leaders last spring, growth of healthcare costs will slow by more than $70 million over four years. Still, in FY 2013 the City has budgeted $289 million for health insurance premiums for city employees and retirees – nearly 12-percent of the total budget.
The FY 2013 budget highlights community engagement:
- Teen Centers: Boston Centers for Youth and Families will pilot redesigned teen centers at 5 sites around the city that will include more “teen friendly” spaces, technology, and programs. Boston Public Library will also unveil new teen-focused areas at the Egleston Square and Hyde Park branches.
- Boston Moves for Health: following up on Mayor Menino’s challenge for the City to lose a collective 1 million pounds, the Boston Public Health Commission launched its Boston Moves for Health campaign this spring, including a website and interactive tools and programs to help residents engage and invest in their own health.
- Community Policing: The Boston Police Department will increase investments to its Neighborhood Watch Unit, appointing a Director of Neighborhood Outreach to improve communication and collaboration with Community Service Officers and will expand Safe Street Teams by 15 people thanks to a federal grant.
- Green Living: In FY13, the Parks Department will pilot several new initiatives to improve engagement around the city’s green spaces, while Environment & Energy will grow the Mayor’s Renew Boston program, which has already helped over 5,000 residents and 1,000 businesses green their properties with no-cost energy efficiency upgrades.
The City’s $1.8 billion five-year capital plan features $215 million worth of new project authorizations in 2013. Significant capital projects slated for funding in FY 2013 include:
- The Dudley Plan: Mayor Menino will continue his investment in the revitalization of Dudley Square, a $115 million development project that will revitalize the historic Ferdinand building and bring new people, businesses, and economic opportunity to Dudley Square. The project broke ground this spring and is expected to be completed in Fall 2014.
- Investing in Infrastructure: The City plans to invest in major infrastructure upgrades for City roadways and buildings, including 40 miles of roadway reconstruction and investments to facilities in our neighborhood schools, community centers, and libraries. A new East Boston branch library recently broke ground in April.
- Community and Recreation: The City will make major investments in Boston’s neighborhood parks and community centers, with a goal of fostering deeper community connections through innovative programs, partnerships, and play.
“Careful planning and thoughtful decisions – in many cases very difficult decisions – over the last several years have positioned Boston for greater success as economic recovery takes hold,” Mayor Menino said. “Through collaboration among City departments, partnerships with nonprofit and community groups, combined with strategic capital investments, we will continue to win Boston’s future.”