Budget Policies

Summary Of Significant Accounting Policies: Budget & Budgetary Accounting
The City adopts a budget annually to be effective July 1, for the ensuing fiscal year. The budgets are adopted on a basis substantially consistent with generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP). Budgeted expenditures are adopted through the passage of a resolution. This resolution constitutes the maximum authorized expenditures for the fiscal year and cannot legally be exceeded except by subsequent amendments of the budget by the City Council.

The City uses an encumbrance system as an extension of normal budgetary accounting for the General Fund, special revenue funds, and capital projects funds. Under this system, purchase orders, contracts, and other commitments for the expenditure of monies are recorded in order to reserve that portion of applicable appropriations. Encumbrances outstanding at year-end are recorded as reservations of fund balance since they do not constitute expenditures or liabilities. Outstanding encumbrances at year-end are automatically re-appropriated for the following year. Unencumbered and unexpended appropriations lapse at year-end.

An operating budget is adopted each fiscal year for the General Fund and certain special revenue funds. Public hearings are conducted on the proposed budgets to review all appropriations and sources of financing. Capital projects funds are budgeted by the Mayor and City Council over the term of the individual projects. Since capital projects are not budgeted on an annual basis, they are not included in the budgetary data. Debt service funds are not budgeted.

Expenditures are controlled at the fund level for all budgeted departments within the City. This is the level at which expenditures may not legally exceed appropriations.

Any amendments or transfers of appropriations between object group levels within the same department must be authorized by the City Manager. Any amendments to the total level appropriations for a fund or transfers between funds must be approved by the City Council. Supplemental appropriations financed by unanticipated revenues during the year must be approved by the City Council.