Chapter 35A.33 RCW

BUDGETS IN CODE CITIES

Sections

35A.33.010Definitions.
35A.33.020Applicability of chapter.
35A.33.030Budget estimates.
35A.33.040Classification and segregation of budget estimates.
35A.33.050Proposed preliminary budget.
35A.33.052Preliminary budget.
35A.33.055Budget messagePreliminary hearings.
35A.33.060BudgetNotice of hearing on final.
35A.33.070BudgetHearing.
35A.33.075Budget adoption.
35A.33.080Emergency expendituresNondebatable emergencies.
35A.33.090Emergency expendituresOther emergenciesHearing.
35A.33.100Emergency expendituresWarrantsPayments.
35A.33.102Registered warrantsAppropriations.
35A.33.105Adjustment of wages, etc., of employees permissible budget notwithstanding.
35A.33.110FormsAccountingSupervision by state.
35A.33.120FundsLimitations on expendituresTransfers and adjustments.
35A.33.122Administration, oversight, or supervision of utilityReimbursement from utility budget authorized.
35A.33.125Limitation on expendituresVoid.
35A.33.130Funds received from sales of bonds and warrantsExpenditures programFederal tax law.
35A.33.135Levy for ad valorem tax.
35A.33.140FundsQuarterly report of status.
35A.33.145Contingency fundCreation.
35A.33.146Contingency fundWithdrawals.
35A.33.150Unexpended appropriations.
35A.33.160Violations and penalties.


Definitions.

Unless the context clearly indicates otherwise, the following words as used in this chapter shall have the meaning herein prescribed:
(1) "Chief administrative officer" as used in this chapter includes the mayor of cities having a mayor-council form of government, the commissioners in cities having a commission form of government, the city manager, or any other city official designated by the charter or ordinances of such city under the plan of government governing the same, or the budget or finance officer designated by the mayor, manager or commissioners, to perform the functions, or portions thereof, contemplated by this chapter.
(2) "Clerk" as used in this chapter includes the officer performing the functions of a finance or budget director, comptroller, auditor, or by whatever title he or she may be known in any code city.
(3) "Council" as used in this chapter includes the commissioners in cities having a commission form of government and any other group of city officials serving as the legislative body of a code city.
(4) "Department" as used in this chapter includes each office, division, service, system or institution of the city for which no other statutory or charter provision is made for budgeting and accounting procedures or controls.
(5) "Fiscal year" as used in this chapter means that fiscal period set by the code city pursuant to authority given under RCW 1.16.030.
(6) "Fund", as used in this chapter and "funds" where clearly used to indicate the plural of "fund", shall mean the budgeting or accounting entity authorized to provide a sum of money for specified activities or purposes.
(7) "Funds" as used in this chapter where not used to indicate the plural of "fund" shall mean money in hand or available for expenditure or payment of a debt or obligation.
(8) Except as otherwise defined herein, municipal accounting terms used in this chapter have the meaning prescribed in "Governmental Accounting, Auditing and Financial Reporting" prepared by the National Committee on Governmental Accounting, 1968.

NOTES:

Reviser's note: The definitions in this section have been alphabetized pursuant to RCW 1.08.015(2)(k).
Effective date1969 ex.s. c 81: See note following RCW 35A.13.035.



Applicability of chapter.

The provisions of this chapter apply to all code cities except those which have adopted an ordinance under RCW 35A.34.040 providing for a biennial budget. In addition, this chapter shall not apply to any municipal utility or enterprise for which separate budgeting provisions are made by general state law.



Budget estimates.

On or before the second Monday of the fourth month prior to the beginning of the city's next fiscal year, or at such other time as the city may provide by ordinance or charter, the clerk shall notify in writing the head of each department of a code city to file with the clerk within fourteen days of the receipt of such notification, detailed estimates of the probable revenue from sources other than ad valorem taxation and of all expenditures required by his or her department for the ensuing fiscal year. The notice shall be accompanied by the proper forms provided by the clerk, prepared in accordance with the requirements and classification established by the state auditor. The clerk shall prepare the estimates for interest and debt redemption requirements and all other estimates, the preparation of which falls properly within the duties of his or her office. The chief administrative officers of the city shall submit to the clerk detailed estimates of all expenditures proposed to be financed from the proceeds of bonds or warrants not yet authorized, together with a statement of the proposed method of financing them. In the absence or disability of the official or person regularly in charge of a department, the duties herein required shall devolve upon the person next in charge of such department.



Classification and segregation of budget estimates.

All estimates of receipts and expenditures for the ensuing year shall be fully detailed in the annual budget and shall be classified and segregated according to a standard classification of accounts to be adopted and prescribed by the state auditor after consultation with the Washington finance officers association, the association of Washington cities and the association of Washington city managers.



Proposed preliminary budget.

On or before the first business day in the third month prior to the beginning of the fiscal year of a code city or at such other time as the city may provide by ordinance or charter, the clerk or other person designated by the charter, by ordinances, or by the chief administrative officer of the city shall submit to the chief administrative officer a proposed preliminary budget which shall set forth the complete financial program of the city for the ensuing fiscal year, showing the expenditure program requested by each department and the sources of revenue by which each such program is proposed to be financed.
The revenue section shall set forth in comparative and tabular form for each fund the actual receipts for the last completed fiscal year, the estimated receipts for the current fiscal year and the estimated receipts for the ensuing fiscal year, which shall include the amount to be raised from ad valorem taxes and unencumbered fund balances estimated to be available at the close of the current fiscal year.
The expenditure section shall set forth in comparative and tabular form for each fund and every department operating within each fund the actual expenditures for the last completed fiscal year, the appropriations for the current fiscal year and the estimated expenditures for the ensuing fiscal year. The salary or salary range for each office, position or job classification shall be set forth separately together with the title or position designation thereof: PROVIDED, That salaries may be set out in total amounts under each department if a detailed schedule of such salaries and positions be attached to and made a part of the budget document.



Preliminary budget.

The chief administrative officer shall prepare the preliminary budget in detail, making any revisions or addition to the reports of the department heads deemed advisable by such chief administrative officer and at least sixty days before the beginning of the city's next fiscal year he or she shall file it with the city clerk as the recommendation of the chief administrative officer for the final budget. The clerk shall provide a sufficient number of copies of such preliminary budget and budget message to meet the reasonable demands of taxpayers therefor and have them available for distribution not later than six weeks before the beginning of the city's next fiscal year.



Budget messagePreliminary hearings.

In every code city a budget message prepared by or under the direction of the city's chief administrative officer shall be submitted as a part of the preliminary budget to the city's legislative body at least sixty days before the beginning of the city's next fiscal year and shall contain the following:
(1) An explanation of the budget document;
(2) An outline of the recommended financial policies and programs of the city for the ensuing fiscal year;
(3) A statement of the relation of the recommended appropriation to such policies and programs;
(4) A statement of the reason for salient changes from the previous year in appropriation and revenue items;
(5) An explanation for any recommended major changes in financial policy.
Prior to the final hearing on the budget, the legislative body or a committee thereof, shall schedule hearings on the budget or parts thereof, and may require the presence of department heads to give information regarding estimates and programs.



BudgetNotice of hearing on final.

Immediately following the filing of the preliminary budget with the clerk, the clerk shall publish a notice once each week for two consecutive weeks stating that the preliminary budget for the ensuing fiscal year has been filed with the clerk, that a copy thereof will be furnished to any taxpayer who will call at the clerk's office therefor and that the legislative body of the city will meet on or before the first Monday of the month next preceding the beginning of the ensuing fiscal year for the purpose of fixing the final budget, designating the date, time and place of the legislative budget meeting and that any taxpayer may appear thereat and be heard for or against any part of the budget. The publication of the notice shall be made in the official newspaper of the city.



BudgetHearing.

The council shall meet on the day fixed by RCW 35A.33.060 for the purpose of fixing the final budget of the city at the time and place designated in the notice thereof. Any taxpayer may appear and be heard for or against any part of the budget. The hearing may be continued from day to day but not later than the twenty-fifth day prior to commencement of the city's fiscal year.



Budget adoption.

Following conclusion of the hearing, and prior to the beginning of the fiscal year, the legislative body shall make such adjustments and changes as it deems necessary or proper and after determining the allowance in each item, department, classification and fund, and shall by ordinance, adopt the budget in its final form and content. Appropriations shall be limited to the total estimated revenues contained therein including the amount to be raised by ad valorem taxes and the unencumbered fund balances estimated to be available at the close of the current fiscal year. Such ordinances may adopt the final budget by reference: PROVIDED, That the ordinance adopting such budget shall set forth in summary form the totals of estimated revenues and appropriations for each separate fund and the aggregate totals for all such funds combined.
A complete copy of the final budget as adopted shall be transmitted to the state auditor, and to the association of Washington cities.

NOTES:

Effective date1969 ex.s. c 81: See note following RCW 35A.13.035.



Emergency expendituresNondebatable emergencies.

Upon the happening of any emergency caused by violence of nature, casualty, riot, insurrection, war, or other unanticipated occurrence requiring the immediate preservation of order or public health, or for the restoration to a condition of usefulness of any public property which has been damaged or destroyed by accident, or for public relief from calamity, or in settlement of approved claims for personal injuries or property damage, or to meet mandatory expenditures required by laws enacted since the last annual budget was adopted, or to cover expenses incident to preparing for or establishing a new form of government authorized or assumed after adoption of the current budget, including any expenses incident to selection of additional or new officials required thereby, or incident to employee recruitment at any time, the city council, upon the adoption of an ordinance, by the vote of one more than the majority of all members of the legislative body, stating the facts constituting the emergency and the estimated amount required to meet it, may make the expenditures therefor without notice or hearing.



Emergency expendituresOther emergenciesHearing.

If a public emergency which could not reasonably have been foreseen at the time of filing the preliminary budget requires the expenditure of money not provided for in the annual budget, and if it is not one of the emergencies specifically enumerated in RCW 35A.33.080, the city council before allowing any expenditure therefor shall adopt an ordinance stating the facts constituting the emergency and the estimated amount required to meet it and declaring that an emergency exists.
Such ordinance shall not be voted on until five days have elapsed after its introduction, and for passage shall require the vote of one more than the majority of all members of the legislative body of the code city.
Any taxpayer may appear at the meeting at which the emergency ordinance is to be voted on and be heard for or against the adoption thereof.



Emergency expendituresWarrantsPayments.

All expenditures for emergency purposes as provided in this chapter shall be paid by warrants from any available money in the fund properly chargeable with such expenditures. If, at any time, there is insufficient money on hand in a fund with which to pay such warrants as presented, the warrants shall be registered, bear interest and be called in the same manner as other registered warrants as prescribed in RCW 35A.21.110.



Registered warrantsAppropriations.

In adopting the final budget for any fiscal year, the council shall appropriate from estimated revenue sources available, a sufficient amount to pay the principal and interest on all outstanding registered warrants issued since the adoption of the last preceding budget except those issued and identified as revenue warrants and except those for which an appropriation previously has been made: PROVIDED, That no portion of the revenues which are restricted in use by law may be appropriated for the redemption of warrants issued against a utility or other special purpose fund of a self-supporting nature: PROVIDED FURTHER, That all or any portion of the city's outstanding registered warrants may be funded into bonds in any manner authorized by law.



Adjustment of wages, etc., of employees permissible budget notwithstanding.

Notwithstanding the appropriations for any salary, or salary range of any employee or employees adopted in a final budget, the legislative body of any code city may, by ordinance, change the wages, hours, and conditions of employment of any or all of its appointive employees if sufficient funds are available for appropriation to such purposes.



FormsAccountingSupervision by state.

The state auditor is empowered to make and install the forms and classifications required by this chapter to define what expenditures are chargeable to each budget class and to establish the accounting and cost systems necessary to secure accurate budget information.



FundsLimitations on expendituresTransfers and adjustments.

The expenditures as classified and itemized in the final budget shall constitute the city's appropriations for the ensuing fiscal year. Unless otherwise ordered by a court of competent jurisdiction, and subject to further limitations imposed by ordinance of the code city, the expenditure of city funds or the incurring of current liabilities on behalf of the city shall be limited to the following:
(1) The total amount appropriated for each fund in the budget for the current fiscal year, without regard to the individual items contained therein, except that this limitation shall not apply to wage adjustments authorized by RCW 35A.33.105; and
(2) The unexpended appropriation balances of a preceding budget which may be carried forward from prior fiscal years pursuant to RCW 35A.33.150; and
(3) Funds received from the sale of bonds or warrants which have been duly authorized according to law; and
(4) Funds received in excess of estimated revenues during the current fiscal year, when authorized by an ordinance amending the original budget; and
(5) Expenditures required for emergencies, as authorized in RCW 35A.33.080 and 35A.33.090.
Transfers between individual appropriations within any one fund may be made during the current fiscal year by order of the city's chief administrative officer subject to such regulations, if any, as may be imposed by the city council. Notwithstanding the provisions of RCW 43.09.210 or of any statute to the contrary, transfers, as herein authorized, may be made within the same fund regardless of the various offices, departments or divisions of the city which may be affected.
The city council, upon a finding that it is to the best interests of the code city to decrease, revoke or recall all or any portion of the total appropriations provided for any one fund, may, by ordinance, approved by the vote of one more than the majority of all members thereof, stating the facts and findings for doing so, decrease, revoke or recall all or any portion of an unexpended fund balance, and by said ordinance, or a subsequent ordinance adopted by a like majority, the moneys thus released may be reappropriated for another purpose or purposes, without limitation to department, division or fund, unless the use of such moneys is otherwise restricted by law, charter, or ordinance.



Administration, oversight, or supervision of utilityReimbursement from utility budget authorized.

Whenever any code city apportions a percentage of the city manager's, administrator's, or supervisor's time, or the time of other management or general government staff, for administration, oversight, or supervision of a utility operated by the city, or to provide services to the utility, the utility budget may identify such services and budget for reimbursement of the city's current expense fund for the value of such services.



Limitation on expendituresVoid.

Liabilities incurred by any officer or employee of the city in excess of any budget appropriations shall not be a liability of the city. The clerk shall issue no warrant and the city council or other authorized person shall approve no claim for an expenditure in excess of the total amount appropriated for any individual fund, except upon an order of a court of competent jurisdiction or for emergencies as provided in this chapter.

NOTES:

Effective date1969 ex.s. c 81: See note following RCW 35A.13.035.



Funds received from sales of bonds and warrantsExpenditures programFederal tax law.

Moneys received from the sale of bonds or warrants must be used for no other purpose than that for which they were issued. If any unexpended fund balance remains from the proceeds realized from the bonds or warrants after the accomplishment of the purpose for which they were issued it must be used for the payment of principal of or interest on such indebtedness consistent with applicable provisions of federal tax law. Where a budget contains an expenditure program to be partially or wholly financed from a bond issue to be authorized thereafter, expenditures of amounts anticipated to be reimbursed from the proceeds of the issuance and sale of such bonds must be made or incurred consistent with any applicable federal tax law requirements.

NOTES:

Application to previously issued bonds2011 c 210: See note following RCW 39.46.040.



Levy for ad valorem tax.

At a time fixed by the city's ordinance or charter, not later than the first Monday in October of each year, the chief administrative officer shall provide the city's legislative body with current information on estimates of revenues from all sources as adopted in the budget for the current year, together with estimates submitted by the clerk under RCW 35A.33.050. The city's legislative body and the city's administrative officer or his or her designated representative shall consider the city's total anticipated financial requirements for the ensuing fiscal year, and the legislative body shall determine and fix by ordinance the amount to be raised by ad valorem taxes. Upon adoption of the ordinance fixing the amount of ad valorem taxes to be levied, the clerk shall certify the same to the board of county commissioners as required by RCW 84.52.020.



FundsQuarterly report of status.

At such intervals as may be required by city charter or ordinance, however, being not less than quarterly, the clerk shall submit to the city's legislative body and chief administrative officer a report showing the expenditures and liabilities against each separate budget appropriation incurred during the preceding reporting period and like information for the whole of the current fiscal year to the first day of the current reporting period together with the unexpended balance of each appropriation. The report shall also show the receipts from all sources.



Contingency fundCreation.

Every code city may create and maintain a contingency fund to provide moneys with which to meet any municipal expense, the necessity or extent of which could not have been foreseen or reasonably evaluated at the time of adopting the annual budget, or from which to provide moneys for those emergencies described in RCW 35A.33.080 and 35A.33.090. Such fund may be supported by a budget appropriation from any tax or other revenue source not restricted in use by law, or also may be supported by a transfer from other unexpended or decreased funds made available by ordinance as set forth in RCW 35A.33.120: PROVIDED, That the total amount accumulated in such fund at any time shall not exceed the equivalent of thirty-seven and one-half cents per thousand dollars of assessed valuation of property within the city at such time. Any moneys in the contingency fund at the end of the fiscal year shall not lapse except upon reappropriation by the council to another fund in the adoption of a subsequent budget.

NOTES:

SeverabilityEffective dates and termination datesConstruction1973 1st ex.s. c 195: See notes following RCW 84.52.043.



Contingency fundWithdrawals.

No money shall be withdrawn from the contingency fund except by transfer to the appropriate operating fund authorized by a resolution or ordinance of the council, adopted by a vote of the majority of the entire council, clearly stating the facts constituting the reason for the withdrawal or the emergency as the case may be, specifying the fund to which the withdrawn money shall be transferred.



Unexpended appropriations.

All appropriations in any current operating fund shall lapse at the end of each fiscal year: PROVIDED, That this shall not prevent payments in the following year upon uncompleted programs or improvements in progress or on orders subsequently filled or claims subsequently billed for the purchase of material, equipment and supplies or for personal or contractual services not completed or furnished by the end of the fiscal year, all of which have been properly budgeted and contracted for prior to the close of such fiscal year but furnished or completed in due course thereafter.
All appropriations in a special fund authorized by ordinance or by state law to be used only for the purpose or purposes therein specified, including any cumulative reserve funds lawfully established in specific or general terms for any municipal purpose or purposes, or a contingency fund as authorized by RCW 35A.33.145, shall not lapse, but shall be carried forward from year to year until fully expended or the purpose has been accomplished or abandoned, without necessity of reappropriation.
The accounts for budgetary control for each fiscal year shall be kept open for twenty days after the close of such fiscal year for the purpose of paying and recording claims for indebtedness incurred during such fiscal year; any claim presented after the twentieth day following the close of the fiscal year shall be paid from appropriations lawfully provided for the ensuing period, including those made available by provisions of this section, and shall be recorded in the accounts for the ensuing fiscal year.



Violations and penalties.

Upon the conviction of any city official, department head or other city employee of knowingly failing, or refusing, without just cause, to perform any duty imposed upon such officer or employee by this chapter, or city ordinance or charter, in connection with the giving of notice, the preparing and filing of estimates of revenues or expenditures or other information required for preparing a budget report in the time and manner required, or of knowingly making expenditures in excess of budget appropriations, he or she shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and shall be fined not more than five hundred dollars for each separate violation.