Mayor Thomas M. Menino’s proposed budget would boost spending 5.6 percent

Mayor Thomas M. Menino will unveil a $2.6 billion budget plan Wednesday that would boost city spending by 5.6 percent, the largest proposed increase in several years.

The plan, which would go into effect July 1, includes money for the city’s first online digital high school, helmet vending machines for the Hubway bicycle sharing network, and a program testing girls-only hours at community centers.

The budget would also allocate money for a park for disabled children in Charlestown near the new Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital campus and a renovation of the Boston Public Library’s Johnson Building.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

The proposal is Menino’s 20th budget, and it includes something new: money for the transition to a new administration after his successor is elected Nov. 5. In a letter to the City Council, Menino wrote that his budget will provide resources to “help this administration share any lessons that might be sought by the next one.”

The broad outlines of the budget were described in paperwork filed Monday in the city clerk’s office, which included selected highlights of the plan. City officials declined to discuss the proposal in detail until the plan is formally presented to the City Council.

The spending plan represents nearly a $139 million increase from the current budget. The additional money will come from the annual 2.5 percent increase in property taxes allowed under state law, revenue from new construction in the city, and $40 million from the rainy day fund.

Through 20 years, Menino said, his spending plans have saved money for rainy days and relied on conservative revenue estimates, because “balancing budgets on ‘hope so’ is a recipe for trouble.”

“There has been one constant: balanced, responsible budgets,” Menino wrote.