Overview of Local Budget Law
Why do we have Local Budget Laws?
Local Budget Law is designed to:
- Establish standard procedures for preparing, presenting, and administering the budgets of Oregon's local governments.
- Encourage citizen involvement in the preparation of the budget before its final adoption.
- Provide a method of estimating revenues, expenditures, and proposed taxes.
- Institute a method for control of revenues and expenditures that promotes efficiency and economy when using public funds.
- Encourage citizen involvement. Public policy decisions are to be made openly in public meetings because the people have the right to be there and know what their local government intends to do.
Do all local governments have to comply?
Schools, counties, cities, rural fire protection districts, urban renewal agencies, and most special districts are subject to the same budgeting provisions. Some special districts are not. Contact us, or your county assessor, if you are unsure if the law applies to your local government.
What can citizens expect from the process?
- Notification of all budget meetings. These generally occur between January and June, and notice is often posted in the newspaper. Check with your local district for more information.
- You can ask questions and make comments at the budget committee meeting designated for public input.
- You can submit written or verbal testimony at the budget hearing.
- You can review the budget document. You can request a copy from your local government. There may be a cost associated with your request.
- You can vote on any temporary property tax measures.
- You can challenge the tax levy of the district in tax court if you think it violates the law.
What are local governments required to do?
- There are many steps in the development and final adoption of the annual budget.
- The budget officer prepares a proposed budget.
- Notice of the budget committee meeting is published.
- The budget document is made available at or before the meeting.
- The budget committee conducts at least one public meeting for questions or comments.
- The budget committee approves the budget.
- Notice of the public hearing and a summary of the approved budget are published.
- The governing body conducts a public hearing on the approved budget.
- The governing body, after public comment and deliberations, adopts the budget and enacts resolutions or ordinances by June 30.
- The government body certifies the district's tax, if any, to the county assessor by July 15.
How can I participate in the process?
- Volunteer to become a budget committee member.
- Attend the budget committee and governing body budget meetings and the public hearing.
- Review a copy of the budget when it's available.
- Vote on ballot measures for when the government proposes additional funding.
- Provide written or oral testimony to the budget committee or the governing body.
- Respectfully challenge irregularities observed in the budget process.
Local Budget Law training and resources
About Local Budget Law
Most local governments in Oregon must prepare and adopt an annual or biennial budget. Schools, counties, cities, rural fire protections districts, and most special districts are subject to budget law.
Download forms, publications, and budget detail sheets by searching "local budget" in our forms center. Budgets must be prepared in a format prescribed by statute.
Handouts for the 2023 Local Budget Law training will be available here by February 1, 2023.
2023 Local Budget Law Class Recordings
Recordings of the 2023 Local Budget Law sessions will be available after the completion of this year's trainings.
Basic Local Budget Law training
The Oregon Department of Revenue is pleased to announce the 2023 Local Budget Law training sessions.
These free training sessions are for governing body members, budget committee members, finance directors, administrators, and budget officers who participate in the budget process.
For 2023, training sessions will be offered both in-person and virtually.
The in-person training sessions will cover the entire Local Budget Law process. .
The virtual sessions will cover the same information as the in-person sessions. However, they will be broken down into three different classes each focusing on the different phases related to Local Budget Law basics:
- Proposing the Budget – covering how to build a district budget including property taxes, resources versus. requirements, types of funds, and budget organization.
- Approving and Adopting the Budget – covering putting together a budget committee, the budget committee meeting, the process for revising and approving the budget, the governing body's hearing on the budget, making changes to the approved budget, and budget resolutions adopting the budget.
- Changes after Budget Adoption – covering changes that can be made after the budget has been adopted including supplemental budgets, emergency provisions, and exceptions to local budget law.
Registration is required for both in-person and virtual training sessions.
Download the above training materials for the local budget law classes. Training materials will be available at least one week prior to your session. Hard copies of the training materials will NOT be provided at the in-person sessions. Please download or print them beforehand.