The annual budget process is virtually a year-round process as shown in the Budget Process Overview graphic below (click on graphic to enlarge ).
Refresh Strategic Plan (January)
During this time period, the BCC refreshes its strategic plan. This timing enables departments to build their budget request to align with the refreshed strategic plan. To help inform the BCC in advance of their strategic planning workshop, departments may present to the BCC a report of their ongoing and newly developed tactics or “Doing Things” - projects and programs - that link back to the strategic plan. This process ensures that departments and agencies under the BCC link the various projects and programs funded in the Annual Budget to the five goals of the strategic plan, also ensuring that sound strategy is linked to the big picture driving budget decisions.
Financial Forecast (January/February)
After the fiscal year starts, the initial step in the annual budget process is to update the Forecast in order to develop the budget guidelines for the upcoming budget process.
Developing the Forecast includes:
Targets/Budget Guidelines (February)
The targets or budget guidelines are developed by County Administration based on the Financial Forecast. These are communicated to the County's departments and agencies for use during their budget development. All instructions and resources for preparing budget requests are also distributed.
Budget Submissions (March/April)
County departments and agencies submit their completed budget submissions except for the Constitutional Officers who have a due date of May 1. The budget submissions are analyzed by the Office of Management and Budget in preparation for budget work sessions with the BCC.
Budget Work Sessions (April/May/June)
Various budget work sessions are held with the BCC to obtain feedback necessary to develop the Proposed Budget such as millage rate policy, proposed program enhancements or reductions, and revenue adjustments.
Proposed Budget (July)
The Proposed Budget is prepared by the County Administrator based on direction acquired from the various budget work sessions with the BCC and priorities in the County's Strategic Plan. The Proposed Budget document presents a balanced budget for the coming year.
Public Hearings to Adopt Budget (September)
Once the Proposed Budget is distributed, additional budget work sessions may be held to provide further guidance to the County Administrator. All changes to the Proposed Budget are finalized and announced at each of the public hearings. The public hearings represent an opportunity for citizens to provide input to the BCC regarding the budget process. At the first public hearing the BCC approves the tentative millages and budgets. At the second public hearing the BCC approves the adopted millages and budgets.
Adopted Budget (October)
The new fiscal year begins based on the Adopted Budget and the annual budget process ends.
For specific dates applicable to the current budget process, see the Budget Timetable.