Mayor Marty Walsh’s proposed 2017 budget, presented to the public and the City Council today is not a radical departure from the budget before it.

It marks a slight increase in spending — $2.97 billion, up from $2.86 billion this year, an increase of about 4%, in keeping with recent years.

But buried in that very matter-of-factness was a significant message: as the first new mayor in two decades seems to be settling in over a booming city economy, Mayor Marty Walsh is proceeding with caution — and to the degree the city’s finances are in good shape, it’s no thanks to the Commonwealth.

The mayor did, to be sure, announce new initiatives: funding to add 200 seats to the city and School District’s pre-K program; additional funding to end veteran homelessness, for emergency housing and addiction services. 

The city will be expanding its seasonal Parks staff, spending $1 million of Boston Redevelopment Authority money on arts, and, on the capital side, investing $10 million more into streets and bridge repair, $5 million over two years on Franklin Park improvements, and just over $3 million on the city’s “Vision Zero” campaign to end fatal and serious roadway injuries.

But counter-balancing much of that investment are cuts: $30 million in reductions to the Boston Public Schools budget, and nearly $20 million in departmental “efficiencies,” including $9 million from an anticipated 15% reduction in police overtime.

“He’s sending the message that there isn’t enough money to do everything the city wants to just by adding expenses — it also has to come from savings,” says Sam Tyler, president of the Boston Municipal Research Bureau.

Tyler also noted that while the city’s revenue has been growing at a healthy pace, Walsh’s budget reflects a wariness of growth coming largely from property taxes, it’s single-largest source of income — while money from its second-largest source, the state, hasn’t kept up.

State aid overall has decreased by $180 million since 2008, according to figures provided by the administration; and state contributions toward education have been essentially flat-lined for the last decade, while the city’s expenditure has not only exceeded required spending, but increased.

And then, of course, there’s the issue of charter school reimbursements: costs associated with charter schools have more than doubled in Boston since 2011, to over $150 million annually in the past two years; the state, meanwhile, failed to deliver on $28 million in obligated funds during that time, according to administration figures.        

Walsh put the onus for fixing that problem squarely on the shoulders of the state legislature, now considering charter school legislation in anticipation of a ballot referendum — and didn’t see a solution coming down any time soon.

“We need change. We need to go up and advocate for better change,” in the legislature,” Walsh said. “Twenty percent of the overall revenue in the commonwealth is produced here in Boston – our return on our investment isn’t … anywhere near it.”

“We’re not alone here, there’s other cities and towns in the Commonwealth in the same boat we are.”