What is a Budget?
A municipal budget is the local government's central nervous system, by which all programs and services are funded. It is a financial plan that details the level of spending required to bring municipal services to the community and to maintain municipal assets.
Why Make a Budget?
The Municipal Government Act requires each Municipality to prepare operating can capital budgets for each calendar year. The budget must include estimated revenues to fund the estimated expenditures to operate and maintain the municipality.
The budget process allows council to make decisions regarding the level of services that can be provided to residents to maintain a safe, healthy and vibrant community. It guides Council when making decisions to fund core services (public health and safety), replace or repair infrastructure (roads, sidewalks, utility lines, buildings, parks, etc.) and determine which programs are funded and to what level (youth and senior programs, library, museum, etc.)
Budget revenues are derived from transfers from reserves, franchise payments, funding agreements, license fees, user fees, government grants and taxes. Budget expenses include items such as salaries and benefits, repairs and maintenance, insurance, supplies, utilities and transfers to reserves.
Ultimately, the budget is used to determine if any increases to the property tax rate or user fees will be required.
Who Reviews the Budget?
Once Council adopts the budget it becomes part of the working documents for the auditor to review and include with the Annual Financial Statement and Financial Information Return. The Municipal Government At requires each Council to appoint one or more auditors for the municipality. Endeavor Chartered Accountants has been appointed by the Town of Hanna. The auditor prepares the Annual Financial Statements and Financial Information Return in accordance with the generally accepted accounting principles for municipal governments recommended by the Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants. These documents are submitted to Alberta Municipal Affairs for review.