Budget Development Process

Developing the City Budget

  • In November, the staff meets with the City Council for a pre-budget roundtable discussion of factors that may affect the ensuing budget cycle, such as economic climate, revenue outlook, community expectations and program requirements.
  • In December, the staff begins planning recommendations for the Capital Improvement Program.
  • In January, the staff begins developing goals for the coming year and estimating costs for operating budget recommendations.
  • In February, the City Manager meets with department heads to analyze new projects, evaluate progress on continuing projects, determine operating cost requirements, and set priorities.
  • In March, the Finance Department makes revenue projections, prepares summaries, edits and assembles the Proposed Budget.
  • In April, the city manager submits the proposed budget and Capital Improvements Program to City Council between April 10 and April 15 as required by the City Charter. The proposed budget document is made available and widely distributed to citizens.
  • During April and May, the City Council holds budget work sessions and one or more public hearings, all of which are televised and open to the public. Citizens are invited to share their thoughts at the public hearings.
  • In May, the Annual Budget Ordinance and the Capital Improvement Program Resolution are adopted as proposed or amended by the City Council at a regular meeting.
  • On July 1, the adopted budget becomes the legal authority to levy taxes and expend funds.

Budget Amendments

A budget amendment to transfer funds between appropriations within the same fund must be approved by the City Council as a council resolution. The city manager typically proposes one transfer resolution late in the fiscal year. A budget amendment which would increase total appropriations in any fund must be adopted by the City Council as a supplemental budget ordinance.

Capital Improvements Program

The Capital Improvements Program is a six-year plan of proposed capital improvements and proposed methods of financing them. This six-year plan is the basis for estimating specific revenues and expenditures which will become part of the annual operating budget.