Boston Ends FY18 with a $21.2M Surplus

Revenues $55.7M over budget, spending exceeded appropriations by $34.5M

The City of Boston ended FY18 with a $21.2M General Fund operating surplus, which represented 0.66% of FY18 city spending totaling $3.19B. The surplus is due to the fact that actual receipts exceeded budgeted revenues by $55.7M, which was greater than the $34.5M that actual spending exceeded final appropriations. The City authorized an additional payment of $12M to the pension fund using available appropriations and excess revenues, increasing total pension spending in FY18 to $233.3M. Boston’s pension funded ratio is now up to 76.9%.


Appropriation Overspending
Traditional areas for overspending continued in FY18. The combined Police and Fire Department budgets ended FY18 with a $15.3M deficit due to overspending their overtime budgets and accelerated equipment purchases. Spending for Court Judgements and Claims against the City generated a $14.5M deficit in FY18. Snow removal ended the year with a deficit of $5.6M.

Of the Police Department deficit of $14.3M in FY18, 67% is due to overtime primarily as a result of increased hours in general and for events like the Freedom Rally. The growth in police officer wages also contributed to increased overtime expenses.

Revenues Surpass Budget Estimates
Multiple revenue categories generated revenue by year-end in excess of budget estimates as shown to the right. For example, Interest on Investments exceeded estimates by $13.4M and aircraft fuel excise by $10.8M.

For the seventh consecutive year, the revenue surplus allowed the City to forego using revenues initially budgeted for operations. The City did not use $40M from Free Cash and $22.5M from parking meter revenues. The intended expenses for these funds were covered by other available surplus revenues.

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