Account: A classification of appropriation by type of expenditure.
Account Number: The number by which the City Auditor categorizes an appropriation. For budget purposes, this is also known as appropriation code.
Accrual Basis: The basis of accounting under which transactions are recognized when they occur, regardless of the timing of related cash flows.
Allotment: The amount that can be expended quarterly for personnel as submitted to the City Auditor at the beginning of each fiscal year.
Appropriation: The legal authorization to expend funds during a specific period, usually one fiscal year. In the City of Boston, the City Council is the appropriating authority.
ARPA: The American Rescue Plan Act; a $1.9 trillion economic stimulus bill enacted by the federal government in 2021.
ARRA: The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.
Authorization: The legal consent to expend funds.
Balanced Budget: A budget in which revenues equal expenditures. A requirement for all Massachusetts cities and towns.
BIPOC: Black, Indigenous, and People of Color.
Bond: An interest-bearing promise to pay, with a specific maturity.
Bonds Authorized and Unissued: The portion of approved bond authorizations or loan orders that has not yet been borrowed for or issued as bonds.
Boston Retirement System (BRS): Agency that manages the City’s defined-benefit pension benefit through the management of retirement assets of employees and payment of pensions to retired employees. The Retirement board, an independent board under Chapter 306 of the Acts of 1996, is funded through investment earnings.
Budget: A formal estimate of expenditures and revenues for a defined period, usually for one year.
Budget Amendment: A change from originally budgeted quotas requested by departments to the Human Resources Department and the Office of Budget Management who authorize these changes.
Budget/Credit Transfer: The transfer of appropriations from one expenditure account code to another within a department.
Budget, Level-Service: A budget that describes the funding required for maintaining current levels of service or activity.
Capital Budget: A plan for capital expenditures for projects to be included during the first year of the capital program.
Capital Expenditure: Expenditure for acquiring fixed assets such as land, buildings, equipment, technology and vehicles or for making improvements to fixed assets such as a building addition or renovation.
Capital Plan: A multi-year plan of proposed outlays for acquiring long-term assets and the means for financing those acquisitions, usually by long-term debt.
Capital Improvement: An expenditure that adds to the useful life of the City’s fixed assets.
Capital Improvement Program: A multi-year plan for capital expenditures to be incurred each year over a fixed period of years to meet capital needs.
CARES: The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES); an economic stimulus bill enacted by the federal government in March 2020.
Cash basis: A basis of accounting under which transactions are recognized only when cash changes hands.
Chapter 90 Funds: A state-funded program for payments to cities and towns for 100% of the costs of construction, reconstruction, and improvements to public ways.
Chargeback: A method of billing departments for costs incurred by them for which they are not billed directly (e.g., telephone, postage, and printing). This method can also be used for departmental expenditures that are paid for with external or capital funds.
Cherry Sheet: Originally printed on a cherry-colored form, this document reflects all Commonwealth charges, distributions and reimbursements to a city or town as certified by the state Director of the Bureau of Accounts.
Collective Bargaining: The process of negotiations between the City administration and bargaining units (unions) regarding the salary and fringe benefits of city employees.
Commission: An appointed policy-setting body.
Community Development Block Grant (CDBG): A federal entitlement program that provides community development funds based on a formula.
Credit Balance: Account or departmental deficit. See departmental deficit.
Credit Rating: A formal evaluation of credit history and capability of repaying obligations. The bond ratings assigned by Moody’s Investors Service and Standard & Poor’s.
CRF: The Coronavirus Relief Fund (CRF) is CARES Act funding specifically for states, tribal governments and units of local government from the United States Treasury.
CRM: The Constituent Relationship Management (CRM) system tracks citizen requests received through the Mayor’s Hotline, online self-service forms, the Citizens Connect mobile application, and direct department contacts.
Debt Limit: The maximum amount of debt that a governmental unit may incur under constitutional, statutory, or charter requirements. The limitation is usually a percentage of assessed valuation and may be fixed upon either gross or net debt.
Debt Outstanding: The general obligation bonds that have been sold to cover the costs of the City’s capital outlay expenditures from bond funds.
Debt Service: The annual amount of money necessary to pay the interest and principal on outstanding debt.
Department: A major service-providing entity of city government.
Departmental Deficit: A condition that exists when departmental expenditures exceed departmental appropriations.
Departmental Income: Income generated by a specific city department, usually as a result of user revenues applied for services rendered. Parking meter charges, building permit fees, and traffic fines are examples of departmental income.
Division: A budgeted sub-unit of a department.
DNR: Did not report.