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FY25 Operating Budget

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

The FY25 Recommended Operating Budget totals $4.64 billion and represents an increase of $344 million or 8% over FY24.

  • 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 FY25 budget reflects an increase of $344 million, or 8%, over the FY24 budget.
  • Of this year's growth, 25% is dedicated to education, including Boston Public Schools (BPS) and Charter School Tuition Assessment. An additional 29% of the increase is for inflationary growth of departmental expenses, strategic investments in priority areas, and integration of the Boston Planning and Development Agency into the City.
  • The collective bargaining reserve will see 28% of the growth from FY24. The remaining 17% will be consumed by the fixed costs of pensions and debt service.

Operating Budget Total Spending

FY22 and FY23 amounts are actual expenditures. The FY24 and FY25 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 FY23 amount is actual expenditures. The FY24 and FY25 amounts are budgeted.

Explore Spending

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

Departmental Spending

The FY22 and FY23 amounts are actual expenditures. The FY24 and FY25 amounts are budgeted.

Revenue Overview

FY 2002

FY 2025

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. Over the past two decades, the City’s revenue structure has shifted significantly towards property tax, while State Aid has decreased as a share of the budget. During the COVID-19 pandemic Departmental and Excise receipts were significantly impacted and shortfalls were filled with non-recurring revenues. In FY25 these revenues are budgeted to exceed pre-pandemic levels while non-recurring revenues comprise of only 1% of the budget.

Fiscal year 2025 will also feature the inclusion of Intergovernmental Revenues from the Planning Department. A more detailed discussion of City revenues is provided in the Revenue Estimates and Analysis chapter of the budget book.

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