Budget Calendar and Process

The City of Longview begins in May with the development of next year’s budget. The budget development process requires input from the City staff, the City Council, and the citizens. In order for this input to be given appropriate consideration, the process begins approximately 6 months before the budget is adopted.

There are 7 distinct phases in the development of the city’s budget.

Budget Goals: The process starts with the development of budget goals based on the city’s Financial Plan and the continuous feedback received from the City Council and the citizens. After the goals are developed, a workshop with the city’s administrative team sets the stage for budget formation.

Revenue Forecast Schedule and Strategy Development: This phase provides strategic fiscal forecasting, financial assumptions, revenue and reserve information as well as management’s expectations about the development of departmental budgets. At the workshop, the budget calendar is established. The calendar includes internal and external deadlines. The calendar allows the citizens and City Council to be aware of the schedule and the official dates for public input.

Budget Development: Departments develop their budgets based on the financial expectations and the guidelines provided to them. After the budgets have been entered into the city’s financial system, they are reviewed with the City Manager. The review meeting allows departments to highlight changing trends in service levels in addition to making proposals for new services or changes to existing services.

Capital Improvements Plan: The Capital Improvement Plan is developed during this same process. The city operates with a fiveyear plan where projects are added based on an objective scoring criteria established by the City Council. As the fund balance in each of the capital project funds is reviewed for excessive revenue, this revenue is considered for additional projects. Additional projects are prioritized and then placed on next year’s schedule when funding will be available.

Budget Presentation: Once all of the input has been received, the budget is developed, and the city Manager makes a budget presentation to the City Council by August 1st. The proposed budget will contain the proposed tax rate, water and wastewater rate, and sanitation rate as well as fee changes. The city Manager provides the City Council and the public with an overview of the budget and a summary of the major changes being recommended.

Council Consideration: The City Council then has over a month to receive public input through public hearings and community dialogue before adoption. Often, additional work sessions are scheduled to better understand complex changes or requirements that affect the city’s budget.

Budget Adoption: The City Council will adopt the budget by fund and the Capital Improvements Program before the start of the fiscal year on October 1st

Fiscal Year begins Oct. 1 and runs through Sept. 30 of the following calendar year.