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Boston City Council approves $2.6 billion budget

The Boston City Council unanimously approved a $2.6 billion budget Wednesday for the next fiscal year, as well as nearly $1 billion for the city’s public schools. The funding marks a 5.2 percent, $128.5 million, increase over the current fiscal year 2013 budget, said Mayor Thomas M. Menino’s office. The 13-member council also unanimously approved $937.4 million for the Boston public schools in fiscal 2014 and $1.8 billion over five years for capital projects, Menino’s office said.

“I am pleased that the City Council approved this budget, the final one of my Administration,” Menino said in a statement. “It invests in all neighborhoods and continues to build on the strengths and relationships that have propelled Boston forward.”

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The budget calls for a $42.2 million increase in property tax revenues, which will mean raising property taxes by 2.5 percent, a change the city makes almost every year, said John Guilfoil, a spokesman for Menino.

School funding will increase by $57 million. Debates over investment in city schools have featured prominently in early exchanges between the 12 candidates running for mayor, five of whom sit on the City Council.

Nearly $200 million from the capital investment plan is slated for projects breaking ground or already underway in 2014, including the revitalization of the Ferdinand building in Dudley Square, new recreational facilities for children at the Charlestown Navy Yard and West Roxbury Education Complex, renovations at the main branch of the Boston Public Library, and the construction of a new library branch in East Boston.

The budget, which will take effect when the new fiscal year begins Monday, also provides funding for a “smooth and stable transition” between Menino and his successor, the mayor’s office said.

Todd Feathers can be reached at todd.feathers@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @ToddFeathers.
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