The City budget is prepared by the Budget Office and approved by the City Council. The goal of the City budget is to evaluate and direct City departments, helping them make successful decisions in resource allocation, program evaluations, financial management, and long-range planning.
In its simplest definition, budgeting is a plan for utilizing the city's available funds during a fiscal year to accomplish established goals and objectives. Within a broader context, the budget also serves to:
- Provide the public with an understandable financial plan that plainly describes activities that will be undertaken during the next fiscal year and the extent and specific types of services that will be performed.
- Establish priorities amount city programs, particularly new or expanded programs.
- Define the financial framework that will be used to periodically check the status of city operations.
- Determine the level of taxation necessary to finance city programs.
Budgeting is the forum for making most of the council's key decisions about the future of the city. It is a process for determining the community's standard of living -- what local residents need and want, what they are willing and able to pay for, and what services they can expect to receive for their tax dollars.
The budgeting process in every Texas city, regardless of size, must comply with the requirements of the Texas Uniform Budget Law (Section 102.001 et. seq., Local Government Code). Under the statute:
The city contracts with an auditing firm annually to conduct its annual audit of the city's finances. Their current report is listed below for the 2012/13 Fiscal Year.