Ample cash reserves enabled Boston to offset sluggish growth in revenue relative to expenditures in recent years, according to Morningstar Municipal Research.

Fiscal 2012 data show a return to operating surplus for Massachusetts' capital city after its first years of general fund declines in 2010 and 2011. Morningstar analyst Rachel Barkley cited a $36.8 million addition to reserves, driven by a 10.2% revenue increase due mostly to intergovernmental, property tax and excise tax revenue.

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