Budget Process

Fiscal year 2023/24 - 2024/25

How is the Budget Developed?

The City of Yorba Linda’s fiscal year begins each July 1 and concludes on June 30. The development of the budget begins midway through the prior fiscal year to ensure adequate planning and an opportunity for the City Council and the community to provide input as to the overarching goals that should be achieved through the spending authorized in the budget.

The development of the Two-Year Budget is comprised of three distinct phases.

• Phase One: Strategic Planning and Program Assessment

• Phase Two: Budget Directive and Departmental Submittal

• Phase Three: Budget Preparation and Adoption

Phase One represents the planning and assessment phase. The City Council’s input is sought in January or February as to the Strategic Budget Priorities for the upcoming budget, and Departments assess the ways in which they can work toward achieving those goals through new or enhanced programs and services. Phase Two consists of the City Manager’s budget directive and departmental budget submittals to the Finance Department, and runs from February through April. Phase Three covers the period when the preliminary budget is prepared and presented to the City Council Through budget adoption

Strategic Planning and Program Assessment

The City Council Strategic Plan brings into alignment the community’s priorities and needs, the City Council’s strategic goals for the City, and City operations. The City Council’s Strategic Plan is used as a roadmap to realize the community vision through building a budget that effectively utilizes City resources.

Budget Directive and Departmental Submittal

The City Manager establishes a budget directive based on short and long-term financial and organizational goals. Budget kickoff begins in February at a meeting attended by the City’s departmental budget coordinators and key staff from the Finance Department and City Manager’s Office. Policy directives, general budgeting guidelines, and the technical and procedural aspects of preparing the budget are discussed. Departments have approximately two months to prepare their budgets based on the City Manager’s budget directive.

A City Manager Review is then conducted for each Department including the City Manager, Assistant City Manager, and key staff from the Finance Department, along with the applicable Department Head and key Department staff. Staff presents an overview of the Department's proposed budget, including increases, reductions, and/or other significant budgetary changes. The aim of the City Manager Review is to finalize decisions regarding departmental budget submittals and to discuss other outstanding issues.

Budget Preparation and Adoption

This phase consists of the preparation of the preliminary budget through budget adoption by the City council. Once the City Manager Reviews have taken place and all departmental budget issues are resolved, the Finance Department prepares the preliminary budget. The preliminary budget takes into account any changes agreed upon at the City Manager Reviews and any other City Manager-directed changes.

The City Manager presents the preliminary budget to the City Council in one or more Council meetings typically held in late May or early June. Public comment is welcome throughout the process, with the feedback provided incorporated into the final budget if so directed by the City Council. Subsequent to the preliminary Council meetings, the City Council adopts the final Two-Year Budget with any necessary revisions made between the time of the publication of the preliminary budget and the date of adoption. The Two-Year Budget is effective July first. Finance Department staff prepare an online and printed version of the budget document as soon as the year-end accounting is completed.