Budgeting

Introduction

One of the most important responsibilities of an elected official is to adopt and oversee implementation of the annual budget. Every elected official should be familiar with the budget and with the process for adopting and implementing it. A local government cannot manage public finances properly without a financial plan. The budget provides a financial plan for the upcoming fiscal year. The budget process assures that everyone has an opportunity to participate in budget development. State law requires that a municipality provide a copy of its current annual budget to the Department of Commerce, Community, and Economic Development (DCCED).

Narrative

A budget is a financial plan for how an organization will receive and spend money for a set period of time. It identifies the purposes for which money will be spent and appropriates (sets aside) specific amounts for each purpose. The budget needs to reflect your community's goals and objectives and identify the services and activities to be provided. Many people make up the budgeting team: department heads provide information on expected revenues, expenditures, and needs for each department; the mayor, manager, and/or the treasurer gather estimates of revenues and expenditures and prepare a draft budget; the governing body and the public review the budget and provide input on community wants and needs; and finally, the governing body approves the budget appropriations ordinance, with or without changes State law allows the local governing body to establish the manner for the preparation and submission of the budget and capital improvement program, but requires municipalities to make appropriations by ordinance and to hold a public hearing to provide the public an opportunity to speak on the budget before it is adopted. The budget appropriations ordinance provides the legal authority to receive and spend money: it should be adopted before the beginning of each new fiscal year. Once the budget is adopted, the governing body is responsible for assuring that money is spent only as approved in the budget.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

Additional Resources

Publications

Applicable Laws

Alaska Statutes Title 29:

  • AS 29.20.390 – Municipal treasurer
  • AS 29.20.500(3) - manager to prepare, submit, and execute annual budget
  • AS 29.20.640(a)(4) – (requirement to file annual budget with DCCED)
  • AS 29.25.010(a)(4) – (appropriations required to be made by ordinance)
  • AS 29.35.100 - Budget and capital program
  • AS 29.60.850 -880 – Community Revenue Sharing Program

Alaska Administrative Code

  • 3 AAC 180.010 Application (for Community Revenue Sharing program)
  • 3 AAC 180.020 Financial reports (for Community Revenue Sharing program)