Unlike many organizations, the City of Coppell's fiscal year does not coincide with the calendar year. Instead, the City's fiscal year runs from October 1 to September 30. The City's annual budget planning process kicks off in February, public meetings begin in May, and the budget is scheduled for adoption in August.
What Happens During the Budget Process
In early February, City departments begin to prepare their operating budget requests and requests for enhancements, which are requests for items or services over $10,000, such as public safety vehicles. During this time, City staff adjust their routine operating budgets, acquire pricing for enhancements, and update their annual goals. In mid-March, all documents and requests are turned in to the Finance Department for review.
In April of each year, the City holds a Town Hall meeting for the public. Staff presents their current projects and major projects planned for the upcoming fiscal year. During the Town Hall, residents are encouraged to ask questions and provide feedback on things that they would like the City to include in the budget.
In late April, the Finance Department and the City Manager's Office meet with all departments to discuss budget requests and clarify projections. After these meetings, the budget begins to take shape.
Directors & Managers Role
The directors of all City departments meet in May to review the proposals, prioritize requests and incorporate the goals established by City Council. The Finance Department then develops a rough draft of the budget.
The City Manager's Office and the Finance Department present draft budget information to City Council over the course of three months. During this time, budget workshops and public hearings are held and open to the public. At the end of May, the City begins discussing the different pieces of the budget with the annual meeting and public hearing on the Crime Control and Prevention District fund budget.
During the first workshop, staff presents the draft budgets for the Water and Sewer Fund and Special Revenue Funds. City Council also hears presentations from local service organizations requesting City funding. Any funding assistance to local non-profit organizations approved by the City Council goes toward programs that serve on Coppell residents.
City Council reviews the Debt Service and General Fund budget in the second workshop. The General Fund comprises approximately half of the City's total operating budget, and it includes the bulk of the City's normal operating cost.
Due to legislation implemented by the State, the City publishes an abridged draft proposed budget in July. The draft proposed budget fulfills only the legal requirements and is significantly more condensed than the long format version that is made available for review in August.
On July 25 of each year, the City receives the certified property values from the appraisal districts, which are used to calculate the property tax bills. Staff adjusts the draft budget to reflect the certified values as soon as they are available. Then the Coppell City Council meets in late July for a budget workshop to conduct a final review of the proposed budget. During this workshop, staff traditionally present the Debt Service and General Fund budget based on the certified values. Council also discusses the proposed tax rate.
Per City Charter, the proposed budget must be filed with the City Secretary on August 5 of each year, and the document becomes available for public review.
A public hearing is typically held during the first regularly scheduled Council meeting in August to allow residents to provide feedback on both the tax rate and the proposed budget. City Council may then adopt the tax rate and budget at that same meeting.