MRSC Insight Blog
Posts for Budgets and Budgeting
Our annual Budget Suggestions publication is now available! This document provides information on city and county budget processes, state shared revenue estimates, recent budget-related legislation, a preview of the implicit price deflator, and more.
During budget season, many local government staff and elected officials often wonder how many public hearings are required to complete the budget process. The answer generally depends on type of government and the reason for the hearing.
This blog covers some key financial management takeaways from the 2019 Association of Washington Cities (AWC) Budgeting and Financial Management Workshop.
Developing sound policy goals as a preface to budget planning is one of the most important ways an elected official can make a real difference in their community.
Can trust building be a part of a local government's budget process? In this post Finance Consultant Mike Bailey argues that trust is a critical component to creating a high-functioning team that can then make the best possible decisions in how to serve their constituents.
Budget discussions offer local governments the opportunity to identify concerns, priorities, and goals. It's also a great opportunity to get and provide updates on key issues, challenges, and accomplishments across the organization. Finance Advisor Mike Bailey offers suggestions on how to make your budget conversations work more efficiently.
What can local governments do to avoid the fiscal cliff? Advisor Stan Finkelstein argues that the best defense is to develop a multiyear forecast of anticipated resources and expenditures.
In a recent AWC survey, public officials identified budget topics as their second most important area of interest (after economic development). This article explores the survey results more deeply and sees how they align ewith the efforts of organizations like MRSC and AWC to help you create your best budget.
This post attempts to broaden the budgetary discussion and encourage local officials to recognize the need to address the longer term needs of their jurisdictions when adopting budgets.
Not too long ago, I read a short tidbit in one of the local newspapers about the adoption of a nearby city’s budget. I was struck by the fact that the city had 28 different funds in its budget. With so many funds to account for, it got me thinking about the criteria for establishing funds and when a city might have too many funds.
If you want to have a great budget experience next fall (and who doesn't?), then it is never too early to think about how to lay the best foundation. Building a budget starts with a strong policy discussion and early policy guidance.
Many local governments have been significantly affected by the Great Recession and its aftermath, making it more difficult to address a variety of critical financial issues. This blog post provides seven rules of prudent fiscal management.
This blog post provides some suggested steps for the year-end budget amendment process, along with a few considerations you may want to keep in mind.
With a little breathing room during the summer, here's recommendations for three things to do before budget season comes in at full force.
Redmond Finance Director Mike Bailey explains how Redmond shifted its budgeting process to better focus on citizen priorities.
When and how must budget amendments be adopted, and how does this overlap with the "open period? The budget amendment deadline is December 31, but this can create complications with the "open period" in early January.
It is budget time again and most of you are working on revenue forecasts that will be used to develop the budget for the next fiscal period. Accurate revenue forecasts are essential to budget execution. If the forecast grossly overestimates the amount of future revenues, the end result will be a deficit and the potential for mid-year spending cuts. On the other hand, if the revenue forecast is...
Summer is winding down and councils are about to start their workshops to review the preliminary budget. This article will focus on how to make the best use of your upcoming budget workshops and hopefully create the “best budget” for your organization.
During the past five years, many counties and cities have struggled with shrinking resources, rising health care and energy costs and a citizenry clamoring for their governments to sustain and enhance services. The question often arises as to whether local officials could have initiated strategies prior to the start of the "great recession" that would have enabled them to better maintain revenues...
You may have seen some of the headlines recently: "Boeing: Record 777X order placed in Dubai"; "Many small business owners are saying they're ready to hire"; "S&P 500 trades above all-time high"; "Construction spending up 45% over last year"; "Retail sales grow again". But if you've looked at your budget forecasts, they don't...