Mayor&Rsquo;S Office

City's Fiscal Year 2023 Budget Process

Mayor Weinberger is developing the Fiscal Year 2023 (FY 23) budget, which will be presented to the Council in June. It is our goal to have a collabortaive process that produces a budget representing broad consensus. 

A Challenging Budget Year

FY 23 is a challenging budget year for the City due to several contributing factors:

  • Substantial inflation – currently 8.5% by some measures (up from 7% during first budget update just three months ago).
  • Pandemic-impacted revenue shortfalls - Substantial and diverse sources of revenue, such as boat slip rental at the waterfront, gross receipts, and donations saw substantial decreases throughout the pandemic.
  • Less reliance on one-time revenues – FY22 budget relied on $6.5M of one-time money and we have targeted a much smaller total this year.
  • Contract negotiations ongoing with all four unions – means uncertainty regarding final budget numbers.

Administration Budget Principles and Goals

Here are the principles the Mayor that have guided the development of the current draft of the budget:

  • Voters want a focused, disciplined budget that does not increase property tax burden.
  • Avoiding layoffs and furloughs of current City employees is a high priority.
  • Cuts are focused on non-personnel budget lines.
  • Few, if any, new initiatives can be added to the structural budget this year.
  • We will respond to new and recovery-related emergent community concerns (i.e., homelessness, economic recovery, and rising overdoses) using one-time monies (ARPA and UAFB) and non-property tax sources (i.e., expected new opioid settlement revenues).
  • We will continue to invest heavily in addressing the climate emergency in significant part through expanded BED efforts.
  • Additional new federal opportunities will be available beyond City’s ARPA allocation and recent earmarks, but these will take time to sort out – may result in mid-year budget adjustments and greater incorporation into future year budgets.
  • Negotiations with the City’s four unions are far from complete so the budget is more uncertain at this point in the process than in recent years.

Meeting the Challenge

All departments - except BPD and REIB - were given proportional cuts to meet $2.2M hole in budget, given voter decision to reject the proposed general tax increase proposed on Town Meeting Day. Department Heads worked hard with their teams and through a combination of additional revenues and cuts and reduced the hole to $1M.

Some assumptions have changed in our favor but there is still great uncertainty due to union negotiations.

  • First draft revenues and expenses have come in at $92M, compared to $88.5M in FY22.
  • At this preliminary point in the budget process no layoffs or furloughs of existing personnel are planned.
  • The FY23 budget includes less use of one-time funds, specifically regarding ARPA:
    • $1.2M for equity
    • $250K for business pandemic-recovery support
    • $300K for constituent support

Revenue Replacement Reserve

The budget also includes a $2M ARPA-funded revenue replacement reserve, that will only be used if needed. This is included as the FY23 budget was built on an assumption of revenues returning to pre-pandemic norms, which we have defined as 3% growth per year since FY19. 

The preliminary budget includes full recovery of revenues, however should any department or revenue stream not achieve its target, we can draw on the reserve to cover shortfalls without affecting constituent services.

Things Are Still Uncertain

This is where we stand currently but we are still relatively early in the negotiating process with the City’s four unions. We have not yet discussed financial terms with all of them yet. We may have to cut further depending on these negotiations, depending on how we negotiate wages, healthcare costs, retirement, and other costs.

Schedule for developing and passing the Fiscal Year 2022 Budget


Regular Board of Finance Meeting
Monday, May 10 at 5:00 pm
(Zoom link to be posted soon)




Department Budget Presentations #1
Wednesday, May 11 at 5:00 pm
Watch on the Town Meeting TV Youtube Channel:



  • Non Departmental
  • Clerk/Treasurer
  • Human Resources
  • Fire
  • City Assessor

Department Budget Presentations #2
Monday, May 16 at 5:00 pmWatch on the Town Meeting TV Youtube Channel:


  • Airport
  • Department of Public Works
  • Fletcher Free Library
  • City Attorney
  • Burlington Parks, Recreation, and Waterfront
  • Capital Improvement Program
  • Capital Parks


Department Budget Presentations #3
Wednesday, May 18 at 5:00 pmWatch on the Town Meeting TV Youtube Channel:



  • Innovation and Technology
  • Racial Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging
  • Burlington City Arts
  • Business Support and Economic Recovery
  • Permitting and Inspections
  • CEDO
  • Planning
  • Tax Increment Financing (TIF)

Department Budget Presentations #4
Thursday May 19 at 5:00 pmWatch on the Town Meeting TV Youtube Channel:


  • Mayor's Office
  • Burlington Electric Department
  • Police Department
  • Water/Wastewater/Stormwater
  • Traffic
  • Regional Programs
  • Health, Retirement/Workers Comp Insurance


Regular Board of Finance Meeting
Monday, May 23 at 5:00 pm


Chief Administrative Officer will present draft General Fund budget materials and introductory memo, providing narrative information about the budget adjustment in each department.


The Board of Finance will provide feedback and input on the General Fund budget.


Regular City Council Meeting
Monday, June 6 at 7:00 pm


Mayor submits Mayor’s Proposed Fiscal Year 2023 Budget to the City Council.

Regular City Council Meeting
Monday, June 20 at 7:00 pm


The City Council will take action on Mayor’s Proposed Fiscal Year 2023 Budget. By City Charter, the Council must take action by the end of June.


July 1, 2022

New Fiscal Year 2023 begins