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Irving Weekly Title

Fort Worth, Texas News

Fort Worth Implements New Budgeting Method to Enhance Financial Transparency

The City of Fort Worth is adopting an innovative budgeting approach to improve the prioritization and tracking of taxpayer dollars for providing goods and services to residents.

After a successful pilot program last year, nine city departments are using priority-based budgeting to re-evaluate their Fiscal Year 2025 budgets. A sample of these departments presented their preliminary work to the City Council during early budget work sessions.

Traditionally, budgets have been created at the line-item level, tracking specific expenditures like office supplies, contracts, and payroll. However, this method often lacks clarity on the broader strategic impact.

Priority-based budgeting shifts the focus to City programs and the costs associated with operating them. This method aims to enhance financial transparency and provide more data for decision-making.

When the process is complete, City leaders will be able to assess financial resources in terms of programs, evaluating their total cost, staffing levels, and alignment with strategic priorities, regardless of the budget account in which the dollars are allocated.

This approach allows for a detailed examination of each position, contract, service, and supply cost, offering greater strategic insight into the City's investment in each program.

Programs are evaluated against multiple criteria, including the degree of mandate, revenue-generating potential, population served, and support for Council priorities.

This budgeting method provides City staff and the City Council a better way to evaluate opportunities and make decisions on annual budget allocations. All City departments will adopt this process over the next few years.

The City Council will receive a recommended budget in August and vote on a final budget in September. The City’s fiscal year runs from Oct. 1 to Sept. 30. Residents can provide feedback on the budget online on the City’s website.

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