How the Budget works
Preparing the City's budget takes more than six months from start to finish. Learn more about the process and timeline below.
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How the Budget is Created
The Mayor's Role
The chief executive officer of the City is the Mayor.
Michelle Wu, the Mayor of the City, was sworn-in on November 16, 2021. The Mayor has general supervision of and control over the City’s boards, commissions, officers, and departments. She directs the preparation of the budget, covering all departments and operations.
Boston Public Schools is the one exception that follows a different process. The Superintendent of Schools proposes the Boston Public Schools budget to the School Committee. Once the School Committee approves the Boston Public Schools budget, it is submitted to the Mayor. The Mayor then submits a recommended budget, including the Boston Public Schools budget, to the City Council.
City Council's Role
The legislative body of the City is the Boston City Council, which consists of thirteen members serving two-year terms. Four councilors are elected at-large and nine are elected from geographic districts.
The City Council may enact ordinances and adopt orders that the Mayor may either approve or veto. Some ordinances and orders can be enacted by the City Council over the Mayor's veto by two-thirds vote. Orders for the borrowing or authorization to spend funds cannot be enacted by the City Council over the Mayor’s veto by two-thirds vote.
Based on voter approval of Ballot Question 1 in November 2021, the City Council now shares budgetary authority with the Mayor and can reject, reduce, or amend the Mayor's proposed budget as long as the total value of budget amendments do not exceed the total amount proposed by the Mayor.