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What is a Budget?

Financial GraphsWhat is the budget?

The budget is the financial plan for the city of Aurora. It details planned operating and capital expenditures. The budget document includes the appropriated/proposed expenditures for a given year and the projected means of funding them. In addition, a long-range financial plan is developed using the prior year budget as the starting point. The budget document serves as a policy instrument, financial planning tool, an operations guide, and a communications device. The term "appropriation" refers to a budget item approved by the City Council.

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Who develops the budget?

The budget preparation process for the city of Aurora involves input and cooperation among many groups and individuals, including: citizens, Aurora City Council, other governmental entities, neighborhood associations, council-appointed boards and commissions, and city staff. How is the budget developed? The current year budget and/or estimate are used as the "base year" for projecting planned budget needs. A sequential approach is used starting with the base year, and making changes for amendments, personal services changes, and other adjustments. Any amount for which a department identifies a need that is over this initial "baseline" must be requested and specifically justified through a budget amendment request. This process includes requests to fund expanded or additional services. Each council appointee and department director manages the budget and planning process within his/her respective department.

The Office of Budget & Financial Planning consolidates department budget submissions into the City Manager's Proposed Budget after significant review of budget amendments by the deputy city managers, city manager and other council appointees, as appropriate. This information is presented to the City Council for consideration and approval. The City Council convenes a public workshop in September/October to discuss the proposed budget. At this time, the council makes necessary adjustments to the proposal and forwards it to a formal city council meeting for a vote. As required by the City's charter, the budget is adopted each year by December after the appropriate public notice and readings. After the proposed budget is adopted, the City Council may appropriate additional funds in one or more budget amendment ordinances during the year. These are normally considered in the spring and fall of each budget year. More information on this process is located in the current-year budget document.

How do I get more information?

Select one of the other City Budget sections and always feel free to contact our office with any questions.

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