Walsh Proposes Fiscally Responsible Operating Budget and Capital Plan to Meet the Needs of Boston Residents

Mayor Martin J. Walsh today proposed his Administration’s recommended $3.65 billion Fiscal Year 2021 (FY21) operating budget and $3 billion Fiscal Year 2021-2025 (FY21-FY25) Capital Plan, building on years of record investments in high-quality and equitable services and programs for Boston residents. The proposed investments take into account the short and long-term fiscal impact of the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, and are made possible due to six consecutive years of proactive fiscal management that has well-positioned the City of Boston to continue investing in core city services and resident needs at a time of global economic uncertainty. 

The budget proposal doubles down on Mayor Walsh’s commitment to continue serving the people of Boston, no matter what challenges we face as a City. As laid out in his State of the City address earlier this year, the City of Boston is on track to make historic investments in education and housing over the course of the next year, both priority areas of the Walsh Administration. 

“Through these unprecedented times, the work we do everyday in serving our residents has never been more important,” said Mayor Walsh. “In the proposed budget and capital plan, we are putting forth smart and strategic investments in the areas that we know will have the most impact for our residents. I want the people of Boston to know that during this time of such uncertainty, they can count on their city government to help get through this difficult time. I believe that with responsible fiscal planning, with investments in the equity, health and wellbeing of our residents, and with our spirit of courage and collaboration, we will emerge together from this crisis stronger and more resilient than before.”

“Every year, the City is responsible for planning a balanced budget,” said Emme Handy, Chief of Administration and Finance. “The rapidly changing economic reality brought on by the coronavirus pandemic presents new challenges in striking that balance. Rising to that challenge, the Mayor’s FY21 budget makes necessary revenue revisions recognizing our new reality, while continuing to fund the Mayor’s commitments to Boston today and into the future.” 

“In times of crisis, the programs and services provided by the City to its residents are more vital than ever,” said Justin Sterritt, Budget Director. “The FY21 Budget acknowledges the new fiscal landscape the City faces but ensures those important City programs have the resources they need.” 

While the City has a growing tax revenue base, the City also continues to find efficiencies and prioritizes investing in innovative solutions to provide world-class City services. The FY21 budget includes over $13 million in identified savings from areas such as health insurance, energy efficiencies and other operational savings. In addition, for the sixth consecutive year, the City of Boston has received a AAA bond rating, reflecting the city’s strong fiscal management and stable financial position. The City of Boston recently was named by Moody’s as one of the best prepared cities to handle a national recession.  

The recommended FY21 operating budget proposes an increase of $154 million (or 4.4 percent) over FY20, and makes strategic investments in improving city services and the quality of life for residents of Boston. The proposed FY21-FY25 Capital Plan will reach $3 billion for the first time in its history and will make strategic and meaningful investments in projects throughout the City. For more information on the budget proposal, visit budget.boston.gov.

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