2-5-1 – Budget Adoption
2-5-2 – Budget Amendment
2-5-3 – Budget Protest
2-5-4 – Accounts and Programs
2-5-5 – Annual Report
2-5-6 – Council Transfers
2-5-7 – Administrative Transfers
2-5-8 – Budget Officer
2-5-9 – Expenditures
2-5-10 – Authorizations to Expend
2-5-11 – Accounting
2-5-12 – Budget Accounts
2-5-13 – Contingency Accounts


Annually, the City shall prepare and adopt a budget, and shall certify taxes as follows:

(Code of Iowa, Sec. 384.16)

  1. A budget shall be prepared for at least the following fiscal year. When required by rules of the State City finance committee, a tentative budget shall be prepared for one or two ensuing years. The proposed budget shall show estimates of the following:
    1. Expenditures for each program.
    2. Income from sources other than property taxation.
    3. Amount to be raised by property taxation, and the property tax rate expressed in dollars per one thousand dollars valuation.

    The budget shall show comparisons between the estimated expenditures in each program in the following year and the actual expenditures in each program during the two preceding years. Wherever practicable, as provided in rules of the State City finance committee, a budget shall show comparisons between the levels of service provided by each program as estimated for the following year, and actual levels of service provided by each program during the two preceding years.

  2. Not less than twenty days before the date that the budget must be certified to the County Auditor, the Clerk shall provide a sufficient number of copies of the budget to meet reasonable demands of taxpayers, and have them available for distribution at the offices of the Mayor and Clerk and at the City library, if any, or at three places designated by Ordinance for posting notices.
  3. The City Council shall set a time and place for public hearing on the budget before the final certification date and shall publish notice before the hearing as provided in Iowa law. Proof of publication shall be filed with the County Auditor.
  4. At the hearing, any resident or taxpayer of the City may present to the City Council objections to any part of the budget for the following fiscal year or arguments in favor of any part of the budget.
  5. After the hearing, the City Council shall adopt a budget for at least the following fiscal year, and the Clerk shall certify the necessary tax levy for the following year to the County Auditor and the County Board of Supervisors. The tax levy certified may be less than but not more than the amount estimated in the proposed budget, unless an additional tax levy is approved at a City election. Two copies of the complete budget as adopted shall be transmitted to the County Auditor.


The City budget as finally adopted for the following fiscal year becomes effective July first and constitutes the City appropriation for each program and purpose specified therein until amended. The City budget for the current fiscal year may be amended for any of the following purposes: (Code of Iowa, Sec. 384.18)

  1. To permit the appropriation and expenditures of unexpended, unencumbered cash balances on hand at the end of the preceding fiscal year which had not been anticipated in the budget.
  2. To permit the appropriation and expenditure of amounts anticipated to be available from sources other than property taxation, and which had not been anticipated in the budget.
  3. To permit transfers from the debt service fund, the capital improvements reserve fund, the emergency fund, or other funds established by State law, to any other City fund, unless specifically prohibited by State law.
  4. To permit transfers between programs within the general fund.

The budget amendment shall be prepared and adopted in the same manner as the original budget, and is subject to protest as provided in Section 2-5-3 of this chapter, except that the City Finance Committee may by rule provide that amendments of certain types or up to certain amounts may be made without public hearing and without being subject to protest.


Within a period of ten days after the final date that the budget or amended budget may be certified to the County Auditor, persons affected by the budget may file a written protest with the County Auditor, specifying their objection to the budget or any part of it. A protest must be signed by qualified voters equal in number to one-fourth of one percent of the votes cast for governor in the last preceding general election in the City, but not less than ten persons, and the number need not be more than one hundred persons. (Code of Iowa, Sec. 384.19)


The City shall keep separate accounts corresponding to the programs and items in its adopted or amended budget, as recommended by the State City Finance Committee.

The City shall keep accounts which show an accurate and detailed statement of all public funds collected, received, or expended for any City purpose, by any City officer, employee, or other person, and which show the receipt, use, and disposition of all City property. Public monies may not be expended or encumbered except under an annual or continuing appropriation. (Code of Iowa, Sec. 384.20)


Not later than December first of each year the City shall publish an annual report containing a summary for the preceding fiscal year of all collections and receipts, all accounts due the City, and all expenditures, the current public debt of the City, and the legal debt limit of the City for the current fiscal year. A copy of this report shall be furnished to the Auditor of State. (Code of Iowa, Sec. 384.22)


When the City Clerk determines that one or more appropriation accounts need added authorizations to meet required expenditures therein the City Clerk shall inform the City Council orif the City Council upon its own investigation so determines, and another account within the same programs has an appropriation in excess of foreseeable needs, or, in the case of a clear emergency or unforeseeable need, the contingency account has an unexpended appropriation which alone or with the other accounts can provide the needed appropriations, the City Council shall set forth by resolution the reductions and increases in the appropriations and the reason for such transfers. Upon the passage of the resolution and approval by the Mayor, as provided by law for resolutions, the City Clerk shall cause the transfers to be set out in full in the minutes and be included in the published proceedings of the City Council. Thereupon the Clerk, and where applicable, the City Treasurer, shall cause the appropriation to be revised upon the appropriation expenditure ledgers of the City, but in no case shall the total of the appropriation of a program be increased except for transfers from the contingency account nor shall the total appropriation for all purposes be increased except by a budget amendment made after notice and hearing as required by law for such amendments. (IAC, Sec. 545.2.4(384,388))


The City Clerk shall have power to make transfers within a single activity between objects of expenditures within activities without prior City Council approval.

The City Clerk shall have the power to make transfers between activities, or between sub-programs without prior City Council approval to meet expenditures which exceed estimates or are unforeseen but necessary to carry out City Council directives or to maintain a necessary service and provide the required appropriation balance. Such transfers shall not exceed 10% at anyone time of the activity’s annual appropriation which is increased or decreased. However, when a given transfer, considering all previous transfers to or from any activity to exceed by ten percent greater or ten percent less than the original appropriation, it shall be presented to the City Council as a resolution including all such administrative transfers to date in the fiscal year for consideration and passage as presented, or as amended by the City Council. (IAC, Sec. 545.2.4(384,388))


The City Clerk shall be the City budget officer and is responsible for preparing the budget data in cooperation with the City Council or Mayor. The City Clerk shall be responsible for carrying out the authorizations and plans in the budget as set forth in the budget, subject to City Council control and the limitations set out in this Ordinance. (Code of Iowa, Sec. 372.13(4))


No expenditure shall be authorized by any City officer or employee except as herein provided. Purchases not exceeding one hundred dollars ($100.00) may be made by those officials authorized by the City Council but a receipt shall be presented to the City Clerk within twenty-four (24) hours, weekends, and holidays excepted. Purchases from petty cash shall be excepted. (Code of Iowa, Sec. 721.2(1))


All purchases other than those excepted herein shall be authorized by the City budget officer after determining whether the purchase, if a major item, has been authorized by the budget or other City Council approval. The Clerk shall then determine whether a purchase order may be issued by checking the availability of an appropriation sufficient to pay for such a purchase. A purchase may be made only if there is an appropriation sufficient for the purchase and for other anticipated or budgeted purposes. If no adequate appropriation is available for the expenditure contemplated, the Clerk shall not allow the purchase until a budget amendment to transfer of appropriation is made in accordance with power delegated by City Council and within the limits set by law and the City Council. The Clerk shall draw a warrant/check only upon an invoice received, or progress billing for a public improvement, supported by a signed receipt or other certification indicating the material has been delivered of the quality and in the quantities indicated or the services have been performed satisfactorily to the extent invoiced. (Code of Iowa, Sec. 721.2(1))

2-5-11 – ACCOUNTING.

The Clerk shall set up and maintain books of original entry to provide a chronological record of cash received and disbursed through all receipts given and warrants written, which receipts and warrants shall be prenumbered, in accordance with modem, accepted methods, and the requirement of the state. The Clerk shall keep a general ledger controlling all cash transactions, budgetary accounts and recording unappropriated surpluses. Warrants/checks shall be signed by the City Clerk and one of the following in this order: Mayor, Mayor pro-tempore, or one person as designated by the Council. (Code of Iowa, Sec. 384.20)


The Clerk shall set up such individual accounts to record receipts by source and expenditures by program and purpose as will provide adequate information and control for budgetary purposes as planned and approved by the City Council. Each individual account shall be maintained within its proper fund as required by City Council order or State law and shall be so kept that receipts can be immediately and directly compared with specific estimates and expenditures can be related to the appropriation which authorized it. No expenditure shall be posted except to the appropriation for the function and purpose for which the expense was incurred. (Code of Iowa, Sec. 384.20)


Whenever the City Council shall have budgeted for a contingency account the Clerk shall set up in the accounting records but the Clerk shall not charge any claim to a contingency account. Said contingency accounts may be drawn upon only by City Council resolution directing a transfer to a specific purpose account within its fund and then only upon compelling evidence of an unexpected and unforeseeable need or emergency. All administrative transfers shall be reported in writing at the next regular meeting of the City Council after being made and the fact set out in the minutes for the information of the Mayor and City Council.

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