The City of Palo Alto's budget as approved by the City Council reflects resource allocations consistent with City policies, goals, and priorities. It also communicates to citizens and staff an action plan for the upcoming fiscal year, including program goals and the standards by which the delivery of services to the public will be measured.
The development of the budget begins in the fall of each year with the development of the General Fund Long Range Financial Forecast. Late January, Council establishes its priorities for the upcoming budget, reflecting policy concerns of the community at large. In the spring, the City Manager releases the Proposed Budget to the City Finance Committee for review. Then, the City Council discusses the proposed budget during public hearings and adopts the budget in June. Throughout the fiscal year, on a quarterly basis, the Finance Committee monitors the City’s approved budget. The City also provides a detailed review of its budget through the Open Budget Web App.