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Hello! Basically, local government budgets contain projected income (revenues) and expenditures for a specific time period. There are two types of budgets local governments usually have: 1)Annual budgets, which involve current spending, usually paid for through taxes and fees. 2)Capital budgets, which involve long-term spending, such as the acquiring of assets, often to be financed by borrowing.
Every state includes local government units such as cities, towns, villages, school districts, and counties. Most states have a similar process for how local budgets are approved. The budget approval process usually involves these steps:
1)The budget officer for each government unit prepares a proposed/tentative budget. This proposed budget may be published in a local newspaper, along with the dates, times, and places for the discussion of the proposed budget.
2)The proposed budgets are submitted to the County Council, which may make non-binding recommendations to the government units.
3)Public hearings are held, where taxpayers are allowed to voice their opinions about the proposed budget or property tax rates. Many town halls also hold meetings where taxpayers may voice their opinions and vote to either adopt or reject proposed school budgets. Subsequently, adoption meetings are then held to formally adopt the new budgets.
4)State government finance departments scrutinize local budgets to make sure that state laws are followed, as many such laws impose specific limits on property tax levies and local budgets.
The body which approves the final budget in local government units is usually the county legislature, city council, town board, or village board.
For an example on the budget process, here is a link for the one in New York State.
Here is a link for the Indiana process.
Local police departments.
Local police departments come under the jurisdiction of city or town governments. Budget analysts within the police department are responsible for preparing proposed budgets for the perusal of city or town officials. Here's a basic process:
1)Executive preparation: budget analysts prepare a budget calendar for elected officials. The budget calendar lays out the time line for the development of a budget. Hearings are held at this stage to discuss, analyze, and review projected expenditures.
These hearings provide an opportunity for police department chiefs to present valid arguments for certain expenditures. For example, personnel costs will usually account for up to 70-80% of a police budget. In a weak economy, police chiefs must be prepared to illustrate the real-life impact of proposed cuts to the budget in terms of public safety. Sometimes, smaller police agencies may unwittingly become 'training-grounds' for larger police agencies which provide higher pay and benefits. So, a drain on smaller agencies may mean a less effective police force in certain areas.
For that matter, justification for adequate allocation of monies towards pay and benefits becomes an important discussion topic.
2)Legislative review: final proposed budgets are presented to elected officials. Officials make final deletions and/or additions before formal adoption of the budget.
3)Execution: Funds that are appropriated for expenditures are spent during the fiscal year, usually from between July of the present year until June of the next calendar year.
40)Audit: Accountants review police department expenditures to ensure that all funds were spent appropriately.
Hope this helps! Please refer to the links for further reading.
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