BUDGET PROCESS OVERVIEW

2023-2025 Biennium Budget

According to Oregon Law (ORS 294), the City of Ashland must prepare and adopt a balanced budget biennially. In January, meetings are held with department heads, the Mayor, and City Council to set goals and priorities for the upcoming year. In April, a preliminary budget is prepared and presented to the Budget Committee.


A summary of the recommended budget is published in the local newspaper. The City Council holds a public hearing prior to July 1, which may result in further changes. If a change will increase property taxes or increase expenditures within a fund by more than ten percent or $5,000, whichever is greater, the budget must be referred back to the Budget Committee. The City Council adopts the budget and levies taxes prior to June 30 each year. The adopted budget is filed with the county clerk and State of Oregon, and the Property Tax Levy is certified to the County Assessor by July 15 each year.


The Budget Amendment Process

Oregon Budget Law allows for amendments to the City budget for reasons unforeseen at the time of adoption. The City Council may adopt resolution changes that decrease one existing appropriation and increase another. Certain changes of ten percent or less to any fund require a supplemental budget. Changes over ten percent to any fund require a supplemental budget process similar to the annual budget requiring a public hearing. Further detail may be found in (ORS 294).


The Budget Committee

By law, the Budget Committee is composed of the Mayor, City Councilors, and seven citizen members appointed by the governing board. Committee members:

  • Must live in the City of Ashland
  • Cannot be officers, agents, or employees of the local government
  • Serve four-year, staggered terms so that approximately one-fourth of the terms end each year
  • Cannot be spouses of officers, agents, or employees of the Municipality

The Budget Basis

Governmental fund financial statements and enterprise funds are reported (budgetarily) using the current financial resources measurement focus and the modified accrual basis of accounting. The budgetary basis of accounting is the same as Generally Accepted Accounting Principles for governmental funds. Revenues are recognized as soon as they are both measurable and available and are considered to be available when they are collected within the period or soon enough thereafter to pay liabilities of the current period. For this purpose, the City considers revenues to be available if they are collected within 60 days of the end of the current fiscal period. Expenditures generally are recorded when a liability is incurred, as under accrual accounting. However, debt service expenditures, as well as expenditures related to compensated absences and claims and judgments, are recorded only when the payment is due. For financial reporting purposes the enterprise funds are converted from the modified accrual basis to the accrual basis of accounting, but the budgetary enterprise statements are reported with the modified accrual basis of accounting.


The City of Ashland manages its finances according to generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP). During the year, expenditures and revenues are closely monitored to ensure compliance with the adopted budget and state law. Monthly budget comparisons are distributed to management. Quarterly financial reports, prepared on the budgetary basis of accounting, are posted to the website for the Budget Committee, the Audit Committee, and the general public to view. Annually, an audit is performed and filed with the State of Oregon by an independent certified public accountant. The City of Ashland publishes an annual financial report that documents the City’s budgetary performance and the financial health of the City. This report compares budgeted to actual revenues and expenditures, thus documenting the City’s budgetary compliance.

THE BIENNIAL PROCESS