How can the city proceed with projects if it has not sold bonds to get the cash needed to pay for them?
The city receives most of its revenue on a seasonal basis. Property taxes are collected in November - January and again in May - July. This money must last the city for the entire year. Usually, the city will have enough cash on hand to be able to meet its regular monthly bills and still have enough cash to “front-fund some capital projects. When bonds are eventually sold, the cash that was used to front-fund projects is reimbursed to the city from the bond proceeds.

This procedure is in the best interest of the city as it maximizes the use of the city’s available cash. Bond sales are timed to market conditions (interest rates) and actual cash needs. Actual cash needs are determined by the amount of funds that have been expended on individual capital projects.

If the CIP is approved, the financing process can be summarized as:

  • A funding mechanism is approved which generally is bonds (the bond authorization)
  • Projects receive funding (an appropriation) on an individual basis
  • Project costs are paid for from existing city cash (front-funded)
  • Bonds are sold to re-pay any city funds that were used and for the remaining costs of the projects
  • The funds borrowed are paid off usually over 20 years (debt service payments)
If you have any questions, please email the Department of Budget and Evaluation.

Show All Answers

1. What is a budget?
2. Why do governments budget?
3. What is the timeline for the budget process?
4. Why does the budget begin in the middle of the calendar year?
5. How are spending decisions made?
6. What budget documents are required to be prepared?
7. What are the legal responsibilities of the City Manager and City Council regarding budget setting?
8. Once the budget is approved, can it be changed?
9. Where do city revenues come from?
10. Since the final budget can be only an estimate, what happens when the actual spending or revenues is higher or lower than the city expected?
11. How is the operating budget organized?
12. What is the Capital Improvements Plan?
13. How does the city pay for Capital Improvement Plan projects?
14. What does the Bond Authorization permit the city government to do?
15. How can the city proceed with projects if it has not sold bonds to get the cash needed to pay for them?
16. How much can be borrowed?
17. How does the budget affect property taxes?
18. How can I express my opinion to elected officials on budgetary issues?