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FY23 Operating Budget

Learn about how the Operating Budget supports various services provided by the City.

The FY23 Operating Budget totals $3.99 billion and represents an increase of $223 million or 5.9% over FY22.

  • The operating budget is an approved annual spending plan allotted to both City departments and central budgets. The budget supports the cost of the day-to-day operations of City government, such as public education and public safety.
  • The budget also includes the yearly mandatory payments required to support long-term commitments for items like retirement pensions and debt service related to the Capital Plan.
  • The operating budget is funded primarily based on an estimate of annual recurring revenues.

Operating Budget Overall Spending

  • The FY23 budget reflects an increase of $223 million, or 5.9%, over the FY22 budget.
  • Of this year's growth, 24% is dedicated to education, including Boston Public Schools (BPS) and Charter School Tuition Assessment. An additional 24% is targeted to maintain core City services and invest in a wide range of supports for community needs.
  • The collective bargaining reserve will see 32% of the growth from FY21. The remaining 20% will be consumed by the fixed costs of pensions and debt service.

Operating Budget Total Spending

The FY20-FY21 amounts are actual expenditures. The FY22 and FY23 amounts are budgeted.


Operating Budget spending can be broken down into six main categories:

  • Personnel Service costs cover items such as employee salaries, overtime, and benefits.
  • Contractual Services represents services procured to support departmental operations such as telecommunications, utilities, and other operational services.
  • Supplies and Materials covers costs such as gasoline for vehicles, office supplies, and other general supplies to support departmental operations.
  • Current Charges include required expenses for things like health insurance, bonds, and health liability expenses.
  • Equipment costs include purchases like computers, financing costs for vehicles, and information technology and telecommunication equipment.
  • Other costs include large items like employee pensions and capital bond debt service and charges assessed by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

Overall Spending

The chart to the left shows expenditures by area over three years.

The FY21 amount is actual expenditures. The FY22 and FY23 amounts are budgeted.

Explore Spending

Select a department to see how its budget has changed over time.

Departmental Spending

The FY20-FY21 amounts are actual expenditures. The FY22 and FY23 amounts are budgeted.

Revenue Overview

FY 2002

FY 2023

The City's revenue comes from: Property TaxState Aid, Local Revenue (including Department Revenue and Excise Taxes), and Non-Recurring revenue. 

The property tax levy has always been the City’s largest and most dependable source of recurring revenue. In the last two decades, property taxes have become a significantly larger portion of the total revenue due to decreases in state aid.

The Non-Recurring category includes $40 million from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) to replace revenue lost due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

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