All municipalities are mandated through the Municipal Act to prepare a balanced operating budget annually, but the budget serves a more important role as the City of Vaughan’s financial guide on how City tax dollars will be utilized in the coming year.
The budget is a very detailed process that incorporates the annual budget, from which the annual tax rate is established, plus three forecasted years. The operating budget incorporates financial information on all approved and legislated municipal initiatives, programs and services, including their associated funding requirements. The approved budget is a result of an extensive and exhaustive approval process, which requires departments, SMT, and ultimately Council approval. Once the budget is approved, the annual budget book is developed to provide residents with the City’s budget plan.
Listed below are a few of the key functions related to the operating budgeting process:
- Develop and issue operating budget process timetables, instructions, guidelines, and schedules
- Review department budget submissions to ensure budget guidelines and financial policy compliance
- Review the departments’ proposed three year forecasted budget that incorporates future service requirements based on approved guidelines
- Review department business plans, and business cases for Additional Resources
- Provide interpretation, guidance and high level advice to Commissioners, Directors and staff during the development of the Operating Budget
- Perform on-going user fee reviews, service reviews, and tax rate analysis
- Prepare consolidated operating budget drafts, reports and presentations for SMT and Council review and adoption
- Prepare the approved Operating Budget document and distribute to Council, SMT, etc.
- Development and compilation of the annual budget book that since 2009 received the GFOA (Government Financial Officers Association) Budget Presentation Award.
- Provide interpretation, guidance to department staff on financial processes and polices
- Monitor budget compliance through quarterly variance analysis reporting to Council
- Monitor budget compliance with monthly distribution of financial reports to all departments
- Ad hoc financial reporting relating to operating budget analysis throughout the year