How are spending decisions made?
The City Manager and City Council make the final decisions on what is included in the budget and what funding levels will be. But before these choices can be made, information, recommendations, and preferences are provided to these decision-makers by a wide range of groups which have an interest in government programs and finances.

One good way to gain a sense of the diversity of involvement in the budget process is to glance down a list of speakers for a typical budget hearing. There are speakers representing senior citizens, public education, the handicapped, taxpayers associations, and the general citizenry, for example. These community group representatives, as well as elected officials, individuals, department heads, the Budget Department staff, and other interested parties, all have an important role in the budget setting process.

Citizen recommendations presented to the City Council and City Manager at the public budget hearings subsequently are discussed at work sessions by them with the Budget staff and department directors and their staff as necessary. All of these participants contribute to the final decisions each year on what are the most important citizen needs for public services and facilities in Newport News and their funding levels. 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?