Each fiscal year runs from July 1 to June 30. Planning for the next fiscal year’s budget starts first thing in the budget year (and in some cases, years ahead). Early in the fiscal year, the Budget Department completes revenue projections to estimate how much money the City will be dealing with in the coming year.
All departments prepare their own budgets, planning out three years ahead (this helps them anticipate any major future expenditures). Departmental budgets are turned in to the Budget Department in the fall. Over the winter, the Budget Review Committee looks over everyone’s budgets to reconcile departmental needs with available resources. In the spring, the City Manager presents his proposed budget to City Council (this is the document you’ll find now online).
Once the budget has been proposed, the City Council holds two public hearings, generally in April and May, so that they can find out what residents think about the budget. After these meetings, Council will vote on the budget. This allows about a month and a half for any technical corrections or amendments prior to the budget going into effect on July 1.
This is of course a very condensed explanation but hopefully it helps you better understand the process. Learn more about the Budget Department by visiting CityofChesapeake.net/Budget.