Salt Lake City

City Council

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City Budget FAQ

Below are frequently asked questions regarding the city budget and how it is implemented.

Budget Overview

The budget is one of the Council’s strongest policy-making tools. The Mayor works with each City department to draft a recommended budget. The Mayor officially presents his or her recommended budget to the Council at the end of April or beginning of May (for the fiscal year of July 1 – June 30). The Council holds several discussions in May and June – all of which are open to the public. The Council is required by law to adopt the budget by mid-June.

Once a budget is adopted, Council Members monitor program progress through periodic reports from the Administration. If programs are not effectively implementing policy decisions, revisions can be made. Take a more detailed look at the City’s budget process.

SLC Budget Timeline Graphic

Budget Breakdown by Month

The City’s budget process begins early! Below is an overview of the month by month preparation and budget development.

March

In mid-March, each department meets individually with the Mayor to present its budget needs.

The Mayor makes recommendations to the Council during a Council Meeting about how various federal grants should be used. The Council sets the date for a public hearing about the grands, and schedule briefings about them.

April

The Council holds a public hearing on federal grant programs and takes action on the proposal.

The Administration sends the Council its Enterprise Fund budgets (Airport and Public Utilities) and the Council begins its review. Since these two Departments operate with Advisory Boards, the budgets are prepared and reviewed earlier than the General Fund.

May

The Mayor presents his or her recommended budget during the first formal Council meeting in May.

In conjunction with the Mayor‘s presentation, the budget book outlining the full Mayor‘s Recommended Budget (all departments and funds), all related ordinances, and the Library‘s Budget are all also received in the Council Office on the first Tuesday in May, at which time a copy of the budget book is  provided to the Council Members. The Council will adopt a Tentative Budget and set the Public Hearing dates for all items related to the annual budget (City & Library).

During May Work Sessions, each major department and fund is reviewed by the Council during Work Session briefings.

The Council holds public hearings about the budget in May.

June

The Council continues to discuss the budget in Work Session briefings and holds an additional public hearing. The Council typically adopts the budget by the third week of June.

Capital Improvement Program Plan

The Capital Improvement Program plan is a multi-year plan of capital projects listed in priority order. Capital projects are big projects for streets, parks, buildings and more. The plan includes anticipated beginning and completion dates, annual estimated costs and proposed methods of financing. The Council reviews the plan annually and makes funding recommendations.

Consolidated Fee Schedule

A consolidated fee schedule, known as the Salt Lake City Consolidated Fee Schedule, is adopted by ordinance to establish fees charged by the City to recover the cost of providing additional services to the public. The consolidated fee schedule may be amended from time to time by the City Council. No fee may be imposed by the City except as shown on the Salt Lake City Consolidated Fee Schedule or as otherwise authorized by law.

Establishing a consolidated fee schedule transfers City fee provisions listed in numerous places in the City code into a single document organized by department and function. The Consolidated Fee Schedule does not include late fees, penalties/fines, refunds, waivers, and/or discounts. The primary intent of the consolidation is to make City fee information transparent and readily available to the public.

More information: Fiscal Year 2017-18 Consolidated Fee Schedule

Truth in Taxation

Because government agencies are tasked with managing precious tax dollars, they are required by state law to follow a process called “Truth in Taxation.” Truth in Taxation is about transparency, and requires government agencies to notify property owners when property taxes increase.

When the amount of tax money a government agency collects remains the same from year to year, that agency is not required to notify the public. But if taxes are raised in order to collect more money than the previous year – or when taxes are raised to make up for revenue fluctuations – government agencies must hold a public hearing where residents can weigh-in.