The Budget Office is responsible for preparing, monitoring and reporting on the County’s budget, taking into consideration current and future priorities and utilizing anticipated resources.
The Budget Office is also responsible for producing the budget documents, as well as preparing fiscal impact analysis and various standard and ad hoc reports utilized by management.
The county budget is not something that happens once a year, but rather is an ongoing process that needs and deserves county officials’ time, patience, cooperation, and devoted attention throughout the entire year.
The annual budget is the county's financial statement of expected income and planned expenditures for the fiscal year. The BOCC or its budget officer, who is frequently also the county manager, must plan the amount of money required to meet the county's needs. Specifically, each department estimates and justifies their operational needs. Management reviews the compiled departmental estimates and balances out a provisional budget. If there are more requests than revenues, cuts are made. Some counties hold a series of both internal and public meetings during which members of the staff and the public respectively express their views and opinions regarding county priorities. Records of cuts must be kept since the BOCC and/or State legislature may wish to know the reasons why cuts were made. Once the BOCC has approved the preliminary budget, it is transmitted, no later than June 1, to DFA/ LGD for its review and approval.
The fiscal year begins on July 1 and ends on June 30 (6-10-1). The statute provides that LGD must receive an approved, proposed budget from each BOCC by June 1. However, due to the short amount of time for LGD to review all of the counties’ budgets before its own statutorily imposed deadline, the division requires that counties submit their proposed budgets to it no later than June 1. The approval from LGD is due, by law, on the first of July (6-6-2B). The division is to certify to each county its final budget and property tax rates before the first Monday in September of each year (6-6-2E).
The final step in the budgetary process is budget execution. As revenues are received, the county treasurer verifies their receipt and deposits them in banks or savings and loan institutions designated as official depositories for county funds (6-10-36). The county departments should be provided monthly statements reflecting the revenues/payments/deposits credited, and expenditures made, in order to enhance the monitoring of budget compliance countywide throughout the year.
Once a budget is approved, a transfer of funds from one line item to another is not allowed unless approved by LGD (6-6-2G). No expenditures or claims shall be made in excess of the operating budget. At the end of the year, excess monies, if any, shall be applied to the budget estimate for the next succeeding year (4-51-1) or may be deposited in a local government permanent fund (6-6-19).