Thursday, January 16, 2014

Research Q of the Week: Summary Budget Reporting—No Wait, Come Back! (1/16)

Our popular Facebook feature, "Research Question of the Day," will now make a regular weekly appearance on the City Spot! Check back to find more in-depth answers to timely city questions.

 Question: I work for a small city. Do we have to file summary budget information with the state?

Answer: Yes! We know that summary budget reporting time may make you want to run but hang on, this is the law.

 Summary budget information you provide shows that your city plans to use, and is using, public funds appropriately in 2014. After all, it’s the number one job of city councils and staff to account for and spend tax dollars for services that residents value such as safe neighborhoods, well maintained streets, and vibrant libraries, right?

At the end of this monthJan. 31 to be exactcities must file information about their 2014 budgets with the Office of the State Auditor (OSA). And yes, this Minnesota statute applies to all cities: small, large, charter and statutory.  Where to start? The OSA provides password protected on line access to the forms to use for this report. Remember that your city must include information on how city investments fared in 2013, specifically any net unrealized gains or losses from investments.

Last year, quite a few cities did not file the required information on time. If you have any questions or need help, contact the LMC Research Department (research@lmc.org) or the OSA (651) 296-2551.

We’re here to help cities report this summary budget information on time in 2014!

This response is intended to convey general information and should not be taken as legal advice or as a substitute for competent legal guidance. Consult your city attorney for advice regarding specific situations.

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