Each year the City Council must adopt a budget prior to the beginning of its fiscal year, which begins January 1. The process of development by staff, recommendations by the City Manager and final approval by the Council begins in mid- to late-summer. Working within estimates prepared by the Finance Department and guidelines outlined by the City Manager, the various City departments outline operational spending priorities and needs, as well as one-time or capital-spending proposals.
The timetable and process within which the budget must be prepared and approved are outlined in state law. The Finance Department requests, on or before the second Monday in September, City departments to prepare detailed estimates of revenues and expenditures for 2018. This information must be filed with finance on or before the end of September. These estimates are then presented to the City Manager.
At least 60 days before the end of the year the City Manager is required to file the preliminary budget and budget message with the City Clerk and City Council. Copies of the document must then be made available to the public by no later than six weeks prior to the beginning of the new budget year. While staff and Council note through public input via various forms throughout the year, the formal budget process provides additional public opportunities to review and comment on the budget:
The Council must hold a public hearing on revenue sources for the 2018 budget, including any possible changes to property tax revenues prior to the Council vote on the annual property tax levy which must be done before November 30. A public hearing on the City's share of the property tax is scheduled for Monday, October 30.
The Council must also hold a public hearing on the proposed 2018 Operating and Capital Projects Budget before adoption. Presentation of the 2018 Budget is scheduled for Monday, October 30.
Two public hearings are scheduled for Monday, November 6 and Monday, November 20.
The City Council is scheduled to consider adoption of the 2018 budget at its meeting of Monday, November 20.
Citizens are encouraged to view the budget proposal here when published, attend scheduled public hearings regarding the budget and to contact City Council representatives regarding the development and adoption of this most important document for the City – the 2018 budget.
For more information on the 2018 Budget, contact Finance Director Richa Sigdel at (509) 545-3488.