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This section contains a narrative summary of the budget process used by the City of Tampa as well as the major funding and service level decisions reflected in this budget.

The Budget Process

The City of Tampa's annual budget process routinely begins in November with the preparation of initial revenue and expense estimates, which are reviewed with the Mayor. In February, departments develop service delivery objectives for use in building the budget for the coming year. Then amounts of funding, or target budgets, to be allocated to each department are determined. Targets are based on current budget levels, level of service desired by the Administration and estimates of available revenues. Each department then prepares its budget for the upcoming fiscal year within the target amount. The resulting budgets are reviewed and requests for additional funding are considered. A Budget draft is sent to City Council in mid-July. The completed Recommended City Budget is presented to City Council in August. Finally, budget hearings are held and the Budget is adopted by the end of the current fiscal year (September 30).

The Budget process allows for amendments as conditions change during the year. An amendment may be initiated by the Mayor at any time and, after City Council approval, the appropriations of funds are realigned.

For further explanation of budget and financial terms, refer to the Related Financial Information section of this document.

November - December Initial revenue and expense estimates are prepared and reviewed
February - March Service delivery objectives are developed and funding levels are determined
April Target budgets are finalized and allocated to each department
May Departments prepare budgets within target amounts
June Mayor reviews budgets and requests for additional funding
July August The Recommended Budget is presented to City Council
September Public hearings are held and the budget is approved by City Council
October 1 New fiscal year begins