Last November, Muskegon voters approved several amendments to the City Charter including one which authorized the City Commission to set the fiscal year by ordinance. Since the City Charter’s adoption in 1919, the fiscal year had been established as beginning January 1.
The City Commission has now passed an ordinance setting a new fiscal year to start July 1. This change will make Muskegon fiscal period consistent with most other Michigan cities. Additionally, it will provide a one-time boost to the City’s fund balance – relief that is much needed in the current economic crisis.
Along with the change in fiscal year comes a change in the City’s budget process and budget calendar. Under the former system, the budget had to be adopted by September 25th of each year – more than three months before the fiscal year began. This sometimes meant the City’s budget was badly out of date before the year even started because of state cutbacks or other events occurring in the intervening months. The new budget calendar requires budget adoption by the second meeting in June – just before the fiscal year starts.
The first budget prepared for the City’s new July 1 fiscal year will be submitted to the City Commission at their May 25, 2010 meeting and is now available for public inspection. A public hearing on the budget is scheduled for June 8, 2010 at 5:30PM in the City Commission chambers of City Hall (933 Terrace Street).
New Fiscal Year, New Budget Calendar
- The fiscal year of the city shall begin on July 1.
- The city manager shall submit to the commission, on or before the second regular meeting in May, a recommended budget covering the next fiscal year.
- A public hearing on the budget shall be held before its final adoption at the time and place established by the commission. Notice of the public hearing and that the proposed budget is on file with the city shall be published at least ten days in advance of the hearing.
- After the public hearing, and not later than the last regular meeting in June, the commission shall, by resolution, adopt a budget for the next fiscal year and provide for a levy of the amount necessary to be raised by taxes, as required by law.