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What is the Budget?
The Budget Process

By law, the annual budget is required to be adopted on or before March 15 of each year. The adopted budget provides for program operations for the fiscal year that begins July 1 and ends on June 30 of the following year. In practice, the Des Moines City Council typically adopts the budget at the end of February or at their first meeting in March each year. Budget amendments must be prepared and adopted in the same manner as the original budget.

While the City is formulating the annual operating budget, a parallel process is taking place to develop a capital improvements program. Two separate, but interrelated documents are prepared during the budget process. Each communicates to stakeholders how the City intends to allocate resources to meet resident’s needs. The first document, the Operating Budget, focuses on the annual departmental operations and includes summary information on the five-year capital improvement program. The document provides fiscal and program information for changes to the current fiscal year budget (amending) and projections for the following fiscal year budget (recommending). The second companion document, the Capital Improvement Program (CIP), focuses on projects that involve major one-time expenditures related to the city's infrastructure and economic development efforts. The local funding source is generally bonds. The CIP document provides project detail for changes to the current fiscal year, the proposed budget for the following year, and projections for the following five years.

Public input is provided at various Council meetings throughout the budget process and during the budget workshops from August through February. Additional efforts are underway to encourage public engagement with a series of town hall forums that will include topics on public safety, community enrichment, and infrastructure and development.

FY2014 City of Des Moines Budget - $535,057,954

Defined here, the budget is the expenditure authorization or appropriation authority, by City Council, of public funds for a specific purpose. The total $535 million budget can be better understood as a $452 million operating budget and a $82 million capital budget. The table below provides an operating budget breakdown by fund. The city uses six different fund types which allows for a segregation of resources to be used for specific actions.







% Total

 Enterprise Funds  $121,568,200  $107,965,950  $118,639,996  $107,813,724  20%
 General Fund  149,801,977 145,096,908 150,437,990 149,265,331  28%
 Special Revenue Funds  120,411,333 105,760,193 121,875,335  108,837,793  20%
 Debt Service  77,685,841  67,383,926 45,674,986 45,029,701  8%
 Internal Service Funds 38,063,943  41,412,377  40,880,252  41,672,539  8%
 Expendable Trust Funds  144,331 114,813 197,588  204,608  <1%
      Total Operating Budget  $507,675,625  $467,734,167  $477,706,147  $452,823,696  
 Capital Budget  106,234,120 90,732,637 112,138,883  82,234,258  15%
      Total Budget  $613,909,745  $558,466,804  $589,845,030  $535,057,954  100%

 Operating Budget: The $452 million operating budget includes funding for the day to day operations of the seven enterprise operations (airport, golf courses, housing services, parking system, sanitary sewers, solid waste collection, and storm sewer); the general fund (police and fire departments, parks and recreation, libraries, code inspections, and general administration, and other activities); special revenue funds (such as Road Use Tax and various federal and state grant programs); debt service on general obligation debt; internal service operations that serve all the city departments; and expendable trust funds.

Capital Budget: The $82 million capital budget includes funding for major construction or acquisition projects financed in whole or part through the issuance of bonds, federal and state funds, contributions, and user fees. A separate Capital Improvement Program (CIP) document details all the projects and funding sources. Below are the categories utilized in the 6-year Capital Improvement Program -- which the City updates and publishes annually and can also be found on the City website.