Budget

Overview

The Town's fiscal year runs from July 1 to June 30 of the following year. The budget, as adopted by the Town Council, is the guide of Town operations for the year, to include funding priorities. The budget development process begins in the fall and is refined over the winter, and the proposed budget is presented by the Town Manager to the Town Council in April.  During the subsequent weeks and months, the Town Council will review the proposed budget, make amendments as desired, and adopt a budget prior to June 30. As part of each budget, the Town Council approves a set of taxes and fees to pay for operations throughout the year.

FY 2022 Adopted Budget (PDF)

2022 to 2027 Capital Improvement Program (PDF)

2022 Fiscal Year Budget Development Calendar

February

  • Town Manager reviews all Departmental Budget Requests
  • Town Manager meets with Department Heads individually to address budget adjustments

March

  • Town Manager meets with Department Heads individually to address budget adjustments

April

  • Delivery of Proposed Budget to Town Council - April 1, 2021
  • Initial Budget Presentation - April 13, 2021
  • Work Session - April 29, 2021 at 6:30 PM in Town Council Chambers

May

  • Budget Public Hearing - Citizen Input

June

  • Proposed Adoption 2022 Fiscal Year Budget

Get Involved

Citizens can provide input to the Town Council in a number of ways:

Prior Budgets

View prior adopted budgets in the Archive Center.

Prior Capital Improvement Program

View prior Capital improvement Programs in the Archive Center.

Balanced Budget

The annual budget shall be balanced in accordance with the laws of the Commonwealth of Virginia with current revenue equal to or greater than current expenses using the Town's Value and Mission statement and the following strategies in order of priority:

  • Improve staff productivity
  • Increase or improve revenue collections
  • Use fund balance for short term needs
  • Reduce or eliminate programs or services
  • Raise existing user fees based on costs of services provided
  • Institute new user fees
  • Increase property tax rates

The current fiscal year's budget was balanced by continued productivity improvements Town-wide and by Council and staff focusing on the development of a rational forward-looking plan to accomplish its goals. 

Revenue Projections

All revenue projections or estimates shall be conservative in nature based on historical data and known trends and forecasts. All tax revenue estimates shall be based on reasonable Town adopted rates within the guidelines established by the Commonwealth of Virginia. Any new sources of revenues and new tax rates shall be adopted and included only after proper public comment and adoption by Town Council.

Expenditure Projections

All expenditures shall be based on actual known costs, reliable historical data or estimates provided after careful research and investigation by staff and Council. All expenditures, projects, and reserves budgeted shall be included only if they are necessary and essential in the individual department's efforts to meet the goals and objectives established by Town Council.

Accountability for Costs

Department heads are expected to achieve a favorable budget variance, i.e., that actual expenditures are either equal to or less than the approved funding levels. The reallocation of funds between line items within a department is subject to the approval of the Town Manager only after significant analysis and appropriate documentation. All other redirections of budgeted funds require council approval.

General & Administrative Charges

Costs incurred by the general fund in handling or administering any proprietary funds, i.e., the Water and Sewer Operating and Capital Funds, shall be allocated according to generally accepted accounting principles and recognized in the computation of net earnings using estimates or rates developed from historical data.

General Fund Reserves

The General Fund balance should be adequate to handle unexpected revenue shortfalls and able to accommodate a reasonable level of extraordinary, unbudgeted expenditures. In August 2016, Council adopted a formal policy regarding General Fund Reserves setting required reserves at 50% of budgeted expenditures.

Each year, available fund balance (carryover), the cumulative excess of revenues over expenditures, may be used as a source of funding to be applied to the next fiscal years budget. Growth in fund balance may not be used as a method of funding appropriations and should be identified only when realized as a result of operations.

Investments

Investments made by the Town will be in accordance with the Investments for Public Funds Laws as set forth in Chapter 18 Section 2.1-328 of the Code of Virginia and further described in the Town of Warrenton Investment Policy (PDF), adopted January 10, 1995. Investment objectives stress safety, liquidity and return on all available funds. Each month a detailed investment report is provided to ensure Council is well informed of the Town's financial position. In addition, the Town's Finance Committee Chairman regularly reviews the Town's financial reports and offers comments concerning investment practices.

Procurement

All budgeted appropriations are subject to the competitive procurement process as detailed in the Virginia Public Procurement Act and further defined in the Town of Warrenton Purchasing Policies and Procedures, adopted July 1, 1991, and subsequent amendments thereto. The competitive process ensures that all public funds are expended prudently, after careful research and determination that goods and services being procured are done so that the least possible cost for the quality necessary or required to meet established specifications.

Utility Rates

Careful study has been and continues to be done to ensure that utility rates will generate sufficient revenue to cover operating expenses, debt service payments and fund depreciation to allow for capital replacement under the existing program.