The City of Berkeley Lake operates on a calendar (January through December) fiscal year.
The city is required by charter to have an annual independent audit of all city accounts, funds, and financial transactions by a certified public accountant selected by council. The city must make copies of the annual audit report available to the public at the cost of printing the report.
The city administrator and city treasurer work in conjunction with the finance committee to prepare an annual budget for submission to the mayor. The process includes identifying expected amounts for all the various revenue streams and expected expenses, and lastly determining the amount of property taxes which will be required to be levied to fund the difference. The mayor makes changes deemed necessary and presents that budget to council. Council may make changes as deemed necessary and lawful and provides an initial approval of said budget.
The process of budget adoption occurs in accordance with state and local law. A hearing is generally held as part of a council meeting and later in that same council meeting, the budget resolution is voted upon for final adoption. Under optimal circumstances, final adoption should occur prior to December 1.
The city council may amend the budget during or after the public hearing, except that no proposed amendment
shall be effective without such a hearing if it shall:
- Add a new item of appropriation in an amount in excess of 1% of the total amount of appropriations as stated in the initially approved budget
- Increase or decrease any item of appropriation by more than 10%
- Increase the amount needed to be raised by taxes by more than 5%
Notice of the hearing on any amendment shall be advertised at least three days before the date set therefore. Any such amendment must be published in full in the same manner as an original publication and must be read in full at the hearing and before adoption.
Budget amendment hearings are generally scheduled at the beginning of a council meeting. The budget amendment business item is then scheduled later in that same meeting for voting.