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Northeast Times | September 26, 2021

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Message from the Watauga Mayor: What is a Budget?

Message from the Watauga Mayor: What is a Budget?

A budget is a plan or schedule of appropriations and/or expenditures of funds which may be fixed or estimated for a certain period of time.

Why is this process needed? To determine the estimated cost of living or to set the allotted amount of funds needed for a specific use.

Where is this used? Budgeting can be used in homes businesses or governments. For local and State governments, a budget is required by either Federal or State Law and is a tool to maintain transparency for citizens and investors. Generally, a local government budget can be adjusted so long as it is maintained within the maximum limits of the appropriated funds.

Creating a City budget is a lengthy process. Although, the City’s fiscal year begins on October 1 and ends on September 30 for Watauga, the process generally begins as early as April and continues through the months of June, July and August with a vote to approve a proposed budget usually held in September. During this time, the City Manager, along with his staff, prepares the necessary documents for City Council consideration. Several workshops and public hearings are held to receive both Council and citizen input. The Council remains active throughout the process while attempting to maintain the tax rate at the lowest minimum level without sacrificing any services to the citizens. City and recreational improvements are added as funding is available and after careful consideration by the Council.

Creating a balanced budget is hard work for all involved, but through exceptional efforts and teamwork, Council and staff ensure Watauga remains “A Great Place to Live!”

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