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2020 Budget Calendar for Cities and Towns

This page shows the statutory deadlines for cities and towns in Washington State to prepare a budget for the coming year, along with examples of planning calendars adopted by cities and towns that go beyond the minimum statutory requirements.

It is part of MRSC's series on Budgeting in Washington State.

We update this page every year prior to budget season. The dates shown currently are for use in calendar year 2019 while preparing a budget for the coming 2020 budget year.

Annual Budget Deadlines

The annual budget deadlines are found in chapter 35A.33 RCW (code cities) and chapter 35.33 RCW (all other cities and towns except Seattle) and outlined below. Seattle has different requirements that are not discussed here.

Biennial Budget Deadlines

Cities and towns that have adopted a biennial (two-year) budget have the same statutory deadlines (see chapters 35.34 RCW and 35A.34 RCW), with the addition of a budget review and adjustment eight to 12 months into the first year. By law, the biennium must begin on January 1 of an odd-numbered year.

The current biennium period is 2019-2020, which means all cities and towns using a biennial budget must conduct a mid-biennium review and adjustment sometime between September 1 and December 31, 2019.

For more information on biennial budgets, see our page on Biennial Budgeting.

Budget Calendar

Below is an overview of the budgeting process and statutory deadlines. For a detailed explanation of the budget requirements, as well as some helpful practice tips, see our page on Budget Preparation Procedures for Cities and Towns.

The pre-budget items listed here are included as recommendations only and are not required by statute. The rest of the items are statutory deadlines only – cities and towns can take these steps earlier than the dates listed, and the statutes allow cities and towns to adopt different deadlines for some of these steps by ordinance or charter. We recommend that each city and town develop a timeline that best meets its needs, assures compliance with the statutes, and provides sufficient time to prepare this vital financial plan.

For examples of budget calendars adopted by cities and towns that go beyond the minimum statutory requirements, see the Examples section below.

Budget Calendar for Outlook

You can now import our information on city/town budget procedures and deadlines directly into your Outlook calendar! Each calendar item includes the statutory (or recommended) deadlines, calendar reminders, and links to the relevant MRSC webpages for further information.

Double-click on any calendar item to view this information. You can also customize the calendar by adding new items or modifying existing items.

Download the 2020 budget calendar for Outlook today! (.ics file)

Once you have downloaded the file, go to your downloads folder and open/double-click the file. If you have Outlook installed, the file should open in your Outlook calendar under "Other Calendars."

Note: This file is intended for use in Microsoft Outlook. While you can also open the file in other programs such as Google Calendar, there may be formatting issues and some features (such as the calendar reminders) may not work as intended.

If you have technical difficulties with this calendar, please contact Steve Hawley.

Examples of City/Town Budget Planning Calendars

Below are a few examples of budget preparation calendars adopted by cities or towns that go beyond the minimum statutory requirements. Please note that the exact dates and statutory deadlines listed may vary slightly from year to year due to normal calendar fluctuations.

Annual Budget Preparation Calendars

Biennial Budget Preparation Calendars

Last Modified: September 09, 2019