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SubjectsFinance › Municipal Budgets
Updated 05/2012

Budgets

Contents

Introduction

The operating budget is probably a municipality's most important work product. The budget serves a number of functions. At the most basic level it is a legal document that gives city or county officials the authority to incur obligations and pay expenses. It allocates resources among departments, reflecting the legislative body's priorities and policies and controls how much each department may spend. In most jurisdictions, the budget has evolved from just being a bunch of numbers. Budgets often include mission statements, goals, and objectives that convey to the citizens the vision for the future of the municipality's elected officials and let the officials communicate why they have allocated the scarce resources in the manner that they did. A budget can also be an evaluation tool, comparing commitments made in the previous year's budget with actual accomplishments.

Legal References

Statutes

Documents

Links to Budgets

MRSC Library Resources - Clicking on one of the links below will take you to a list of documents available on loan through the MRSC library

Budget Education

Recommended Practices

Need more information?

Feel free to Ask MRSC. Washington cities, counties, and our contract partners can call or email MRSC for more information and advice - free of charge.