Most local governments in Oregon, from the smallest cemetery district to the largest city, must prepare and adopt an annual budget. Schools, education service districts, community colleges, counties, cities, urban renewal agencies, and most special districts are all subject to the same budget provisions.
Oregon’s Local Budget Law is found in Oregon Revised Statutes (ORS) 294.305 to 294.565. The full text of these statutes can be found on the Oregon Legislature web site at www.leg.state.or.us.
The law sets out several specific steps that must be followed during the budgeting process. The process must begin far enough in advance that it can be followed and the budget adopted before June 30 of the current fiscal year or the last June 30 of the current biennial budget period. Without a budget for the new fiscal period in place, the local government’s authority to spend money or incur obligations expires on June 30. A local government’s ability to impose a property tax is also contingent on following the budgeting process. Compliance with Local Budget Law is critical for local governments.