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Budget, policy & Strategic planning division

The Budget, Policy and Strategic Planning Division is primarily responsible for the development and preparation of the City of Sacramento’s annual operating budget and Capital Improvement Program budget. In addition, staff provides analysis and recommendations regarding fiscal and operational issues to the City Manager’s Office, the City Council, Charter Offices, and City operating departments.

Fiscal Year (FY) 2020/21 Proposed Budget Document

FY2020/21 Proposed Budget

Budget Process

The following represents the City's budget/program planning cycle:

City of Sacramento Budget Cycle Diagram

The City's fiscal year is July 1 through June 30. As such, the City Council annually adopts the City's operating and capital budgets for a single fiscal year beginning July 1 and ending June 30 in the subsequent calendar year.

To establish the annual budget, the Budget Division of the Finance Department develops a plan for expenditure of projected available resources for the coming Fiscal Year. Labor costs are updated to reflect salary and benefit changes called for in union contracts, and estimates for unrepresented employees are also updated. A five-year revenue receipts and economic and revenue forecasts are used to determine what resources, tax revenues, and other discretionary revenues will be available to support operating requirements. Similarly, Capital Involvement Program priorities are married with available funds from over 22 funding sources.

A base budget is prepared from this information. This base budget updates the costs of maintaining service and staffing levels into the new budget year. The base budget also includes the updated estimates of revenues and other financing sources. The base budget contains the operating and capital budgets.

Proposed operating and capital budget documents are prepared and transmitted to the Mayor and City Council as required by City Charter on or before May 1 of each year. The Mayor and Council review the proposed operating and capital improvement budget in public hearings. The budget is formally adopted by the vote of City Council on or before June 30 of each year. Any changes to the proposed budget, as considered and approved by the City Council during budget hearings, are included in the Approved Budget document.

Budget Timeline

The budgeting process is reflected in the following timeline:

January-March – Planning

  • Establish budget objectives and principles
  • Provide policy direction for year-end results
  • Consider policy direction for marginal budget adjustments

April – Budget Preparation

  • Staff develops base budget and Council vision document

May-June – Public Forum

  • City Council hearings on the proposed budget documents

July 1st – New Fiscal Year

August-September – Executive Team Planning

  • Staff planning for budget implementation
  • Identification of issues to be considered for future budget development

October-November – Department Reviews and Recommendations

  • Administrative work related to close of prior fiscal year
  • Staff briefs Council on critical fiscal issues for future budget development

December-January – Year End Fiscal Review

  • Completion of year-end review
  • Staff briefs Council on prior fiscal year end results