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FAQs from OMB

It assists the city manager with the development and implementation of the City’s budget. OMB monitors and forecasts the revenues and expenditures for the City.

The City of Las Cruces and State of New Mexico follow a Fiscal Year (FY) that starts July 1 and ends June 30. A Fiscal Year is the period designated by the city for the beginning and ending of financial transactions or a budget cycle. The 2015 Annual Budget or Fiscal Year 2014-15 refers to the period that begins July 1, 2014 and concludes on June 30, 2015.

The budget process begins in December with City Council and management work sessions. City departments and agencies start in January and conclude their budget development in late February with their submission of budget requests to OMB. Around mid-April, the city manager releases the Preliminary Budget and Five-Year Capital Improvement Plan for the ensuing fiscal year. This is followed by a period of public comment during which, the community and City Council make recommendations on the budget to the city manager. The City Manager then submits the Final Operating and Capital Improvement Plan Budget to the City Council on or around the first business week of May.

The capital budget, or capital improvement plan, is an appropriation of bonds or operating revenue for improvements to city facilities that may include buildings, parks, streets and water and sewer lines. The operating budget covers the costs of the City’s day-to-day operations, such as employee salaries, supplies and contracts.

At any time of the year, citizens can view the city’s budget online, in the Branigan Library or at City Hall (City Clerk’s Office). Residents can discuss it with neighbors, city staff or Council members. In addition, the City Council has several special budget workshops every year that citizens can attend and/or watch on CLC-TV 20. Council agendas are posted on the City’s website so that the community can be aware of the dates the budget will be discussed.

Budget adoption is a formal action taken by the City Council that sets the city’s priorities and spending limits for the next year. The Fiscal Year budget is formally adopted by the City Council at a public meeting in May, though city staff has been preparing the budget for months in advance.

Las Cruces revenue comes from a variety of sources, including gross receipt tax, property tax, user charges and grants from other levels of government.

Expenditures represent a decrease in fund resources or, stated simply, a recorded expense for goods or services.

Infrastructure and capital improvements refer to facilities that need to be in place in order to support the basic needs of residents and businesses in the community. Examples include roads, water lines, sewers, public buildings, parks and airports.

Budget appropriation refers to authorizations made by the City Council that permit the city to incur obligations and expend resources. When the City Council appropriates funds, they are saying the community should, for example, spend its money on public safety or make investments that improve the quality of life in Las Cruces. The city cannot collect or spend money unless it is appropriated, and this ensures the public’s money is spent according to the public’s needs as expressed by the democratically elected City Council.

A budget adjustment is a modification or adjustment that is required as the fiscal year unfolds. Any modification or adjustment that increases a department and/or divisions bottom line must be formally approved by the City Council.

A budget transfer moves budget appropriation between programs or funds. Transfers within funds may be done on the city manager's authority; the city manager is appointed by the City Council to act as the city’s chief executive officer. Transfers between funds require City Council approval.

Carryover refers to year-end savings that can be carried forward into the next fiscal year to cover any one-time expenses such as supplies, equipment or special contracts that were originally expected to have occurred in the previous fiscal year.

An FTE refers to one or more employees working 40 hours per week, or 2,080 hours per year. For example, a part-time employee working 20 hours per week would be considered a 0.5 FTE.

User charges are fees paid in direct receipt of a public service by the party who benefits from the service. Fees paid for recreation classes or leagues are examples of user charges. These make up a small amount of the City’s budget.