Why do governments budget?
As a practical matter, most large public and private organizations, and many smaller ones, prepare budgets in order to manage their finances properly. Governments have two other primary reasons for creating budgets. Governments provide facilities and public services to meet their citizens’ needs that are paid for with public funds. Usually there is not enough revenue to provide for all the citizens’ needs, so compromises must be made. The budget process provides a mechanism where elected officials, after hearing the diverse views of citizens, taxpayers, and other interested parties, can compromise and reach an accord on spending priorities.

In addition, the city creates a budget because it is legally required to do so. Section §6.02 of the City Charter requires the city to prepare an Annual Operating Budget. 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?