The City of Lewisville operates on a fiscal year that starts Oct. 1 and ends Sept. 30. The budget process occurs over a seven-month period through the collective efforts of department staff, division managers, directors, the City Manager and the City Council. Preparation of the budget is composed of six steps.
Step #1: City Council Retreat – A multiple-day meeting designed for City Council to consider major policy issues that might impact development of the next year’s budget. The retreat is normally held in early February.
Step #2: Strategic Plan Development - Department strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats are analyzed and short-term objectives for the next two years are set. These objectives focus on weaknesses and threats and must relate directly to one of the approved Council-directed priorities and goals.
Step #3: Revise Year-End Estimates for Current Year - In April and May, management reviews current-year budgets and requires department directors to estimate expenditures for the remainder of the year. The “revised budget” for each department is not to be exceeded without approval of the City Manager. Concurrently, revenues are evaluated on year-to-date collections to determine if the City will meet its expectations for the year and to develop projections for the upcoming fiscal year.
Step #4: Department Budget Requests - Departments evaluate existing program goals and objectives used to assess performance and fine-tune them for the coming fiscal year. Goals represent the purpose of programs while objectives identify their specific, qualitative aim. Departments propose performance measures based upon future demand estimates and new management initiatives. Performance measures are developed to gauge the output, efficiency and effectiveness of the proposed goals and objectives.
Step #5: Submittal of Department Action Steps and Police and Fire Applications for Sales Tax Funding - Departments submit action steps for the next year. Action Steps include reductions, add-backs, new programs, replacements, capital outlay, and additional personnel. These items are prioritized and submitted by the department directors to the City Manager based upon their ability to maintain or enhance existing service. Each action step is directly tied to a City priority. The City Manager reviews department action steps to compile the proposed budget.
In accordance with Local Government Code 363.209 (Crime) and 344.209 (Fire), application procedures for special district program funding are established by this directive. The Police Chief and Fire Chief submit applications for Sales Tax Funding to the City Manager by the date specified in the City’s annual budget calendar. The City Manager reviews the applications and determines whether they meet the definition of program under the Local Government Code as well as the priorities of the City Council. These applications are then submitted to the District Boards for consideration in the form of a proposed fund budget. Once the District Boards approve the proposed fund budget, the fund budget is submitted to the City Council along with the overall proposed City budget.
Step #6: City Council Adopts the Budget - The last step in the process adopts the final budget. This begins in July when City Council receives the proposed budget and reviews it at the annual budget workshop held in August. Finalizing the proposed budget, Council holds a public hearing on the pending tax rate and budget. Following the public hearing, the final budget is adopted subsequent to the next fiscal year, October 1.