FY24 Budget in Brief

Comprehensive Fiscal Planning is more than just an annual budget!

Message from City Manager

It is my pleasure to introduce the Fiscal Year 2024 (FY24) Budget in Brief. The FY24 budget is balanced, with all operating expenditures covered by current revenues, and capital expenditures financed by current revenues and reserves in excess of the City Council’s Fiscal Policy. Importantly, the FY24 budget maintains the high level of services the community has come to expect while proactively addressing the City’s long-term financial challenges, including accelerated infrastructure investment and further enhancement of public safety pension funding. These strategic initiatives will reduce long-term liabilities, benefiting the City of Lake Forest for years to come.

The FY24 budget continues to advance key organizational priorities, including a commitment to long-term staff development and succession planning, thoughtful experimentation in furthering new initiatives, and data-driven analysis of workload demands and service expectations. In addition to internal planning efforts, FY24 will be a busy year for external community planning initiatives. Updates to the City’s Comprehensive Plan are expected to be completed in FY24, positioning the City to continue its thoughtful management of growth and change while respecting the community traditions and distinctive character that make Lake Forest a special place. Funding is also included in the FY24 budget to update the City’s Strategic Plan for the first time in seven years. The City’s Strategic Plan develops broad community vision/values that affect quality of life in Lake Forest and guide future decision-making and resource allocation.

Finally, a critical component of the City’s long-term planning efforts is the record level of capital investments within the FY24 budget. In total, the FY24 budget contains $35.5 million in capital spending (including $3.5m carried over from FY23), including the $16 million Deerpath Park Improvement Project highlighted in this year’s Budget in Brief.

By virtue of the many internal and external long-term planning exercises noted above, the City will be well-positioned to continue our tradition of engaging in thoughtful, strategic decision-making in the years ahead.


Jason Wicha

City Manager

Goals to our Citizenry

The City’s FY2018-FY2024 Strategic Plan sets forth six priority goal areas.

Strategic plan icons appear throughout the City’s Comprehensive Fiscal Plan to denote Strategic Plan initiatives.


City of Lake Forest: Overview

The City is required to account for revenues and expenses using fund accounting. This ensures that restricted revenues are used for their intended purposes. The City’s Fiscal Year 2024 covers the time period of May 1, 2023 through April 30, 2024. Below is a summary of the City-wide budget. FY24 expenses exceed revenues due to $4 million in FY23 revenue being allocated to the Deerpath Park project.

Total Budgeted - Revenues

Total Budgeted - Expenses

City of Lake Forest: General Fund

The General Fund is the primary operating fund of the City, includes most of the City’s personnel and is used to account for unrestricted revenues.

Total Budgeted - Revenues

The chart above shows the General Fund revenues by type. The City is heavily reliant on property taxes, which accounts for 62.88% of budgeted FY24 Revenue of the General Fund

Total Budgeted - Expenses

The General Fund expenses by type are provided above. City personnel costs account for 72.78% of General Fund expenses. See additional data on personnel later in the report.

General Fund Expenses by Department

City of Lake Forest: Department Breakdown

Use the Windows box below to scroll through our departmental data!

General Fund Historical Trends

How does FY24 General Fund budget compare to prior years?

As part of the annual budget development, the City updates its Five Year CIP. The FY24-28 CIP totals $74.23 million.

The chart below shows FY24 Capital Investments totaling $32,866,889

For additional information, click here to view the City's FY24 Comprehensive Fiscal Plan

Questions may be directed to Finance Director Elizabeth Holleb at [email protected]