What are the purposes of local budget law?
The Legislature clearly identified the purposes of local budget law in the statute. It is designed to:
• Establish standard procedures for preparing, presenting, and administering the budgets of Oregon´s local governments,
• Encourage citizen involvement in the preparation of the budget before its final adoption,
• Provide a method of estimating revenues, expenditures, and proposed taxes, and
• Institute a method for control of revenues and expenditures for the promotion of efficiency and economy in the expenditure of public funds.
Many of the requirements in the law, such as public meetings, publication notices, non-governing body representation on the budget committee, and the availability of the budget document throughout the development process are designed to encourage citizen involvement. An overriding theme in the law is that public policy decisions are to be made openly in a public meeting. Citizens have the right to be there and to know what their local government intends to do, before it happens.
The law requires that all local governments use uniform formats prescribed by the Department of Revenue in the preparation of their budget. This requirement lends a semblance of consistency and predictability between both large and small local governments´ budget documents. From year to year, comparisons can more easily be made when formats are consistent. This will help in analyzing your local government´s fiscal plan.
For more information concerning Local Budget Law visit http://www.oregon.gov/dor/PTD/Pages/IC_504_620.aspx