What is a budget?
The budget is a plan. It is a financial proposal that annually directs the provision of public services and facilities. This plan represents the City Manager’s and City Council’s commitment to provide for the most important citizen needs within the boundaries of available revenue (funds).

The money collected by the city from taxes, grants, fees, and many other sources to pay for this plan is called revenue. The money spent on salaries, materials, and equipment to provide these planned services and facilities is called expenditures. By city law, revenues and expenditures must be equal in the Annual Budget. This is what is meant by a balanced budget.

In Newport News, water services are provided by a separate department with its own distinct budget. Likewise, automotive maintenance and repair services for city-owned vehicles, solid waste collections, and wastewater (sewer) maintenance are provided by a department with an individual budget separate from the other general operating city departments. The City Council must give approval to each separate budget. They are included in the city’s overall (total) budget plan.

If you have any questions, please email the Department of Budget and Evaluation.

Show All Answers

1. What is a budget?
2. Why do governments budget?
3. What is the timeline for the budget process?
4. Why does the budget begin in the middle of the calendar year?
5. How are spending decisions made?
6. What budget documents are required to be prepared?
7. What are the legal responsibilities of the City Manager and City Council regarding budget setting?
8. Once the budget is approved, can it be changed?
9. Where do city revenues come from?
10. Since the final budget can be only an estimate, what happens when the actual spending or revenues is higher or lower than the city expected?
11. How is the operating budget organized?
12. What is the Capital Improvements Plan?
13. How does the city pay for Capital Improvement Plan projects?
14. What does the Bond Authorization permit the city government to do?
15. How can the city proceed with projects if it has not sold bonds to get the cash needed to pay for them?
16. How much can be borrowed?
17. How does the budget affect property taxes?
18. How can I express my opinion to elected officials on budgetary issues?