by Niles Anderegg, research and content development associate, ICMA
Local government budgeting can be a complex and difficult task. Part of what makes budgeting complex for managers is that it involves managing community and elected official expectations. It also represents the objectives that jurisdictions are trying to achieve and constitutes a form of performance evaluation. With this in mind, ICMA has compiled some of its budgeting resources to help managers during the annual budget process.
1. A Budgeting Guide for Local Government, 3rd Edition. This book explores the constantly changing world of budgeting in local government. This includes both an examination of the whys and hows of local government budgeting as well as a look at the importance of such revenue streams as sales and excise taxes, impact charges, and fees for service.
2. Multiyear Budgeting. This 2014 article discusses the practices of local governments that adopt multi-year budgets, including why they do so and how these budgets work, as well as giving tips on how to implement multi-year budgets. The article looks at specific case studies of communities that have adopted successful multi-year budgets.
3. Planning a Financial Future. This 2017 article looks at financial forecasting and can help local governments of all sizes gain leverage for the future. Specifically, this piece focuses on such tools as revenue and expenditure forecasting as well as using GAP analysis.
4. How to Foster Two-Way Communication During the Budget Process. This blog post from 2017 discusses how best to educate residents about budgetary issues. The post argues that local governments need to engage with residents on budget matters and provide ongoing communication with them throughout the budget process.
5. Webinar Series: A Budgeting Guide for Local Government. This upcoming webinar series is for local government managers, assistant managers, elected officials, department heads, and anyone who would like to gain a better understanding of the fundamentals of the budgeting process.