Welcome to “In a Nutshell: The Library Budget, Part 2: Amending the budget.
First of all—congrats on receiving more money to serve your patrons. Short answer to your question...Not exactly: the library can’t spend money that it didn’t budget to expend when the budget was approved by the city.
The library budget is part of the city’s budget, which the city submits to the state for certification each year. Just as the library can’t spend money that it didn’t budget to spend, neither can the city—without amending the budget with the state.
The city’s budget is divided into groups, or “expenditure program areas” of city departments, and the certified budget has specific allocations for each program (and department). The library is part of the Culture and Recreation program, along with Parks and Rec and maybe some other departments. As long as the Culture and Rec PROGRAM doesn’t spend more than was budgeted, the city doesn’t have to officially amend the budget on account of that program.
So, if Parks and Rec is under spending [Enter] and is going to have $1000 left, but the library wants to spend $800 [Enter] more than budgeted, the Culture and Recreation program, in total, is still spending within the amount budgeted by the city and certified by the state, and the city doesn’t have to amend its budget.
But how likely is it, in this day and age, that Parks and Rec—or any other department—isn’t going to spend pretty much all its budget? If the other departments in the Culture and Recreation program are spending the amount allocated for their budget, and the library wants to spend money that was unexpectedly received, then the program would be over budget, in terms of the budget certified by the state, and the city would have to amend the budget.
So, in a nutshell, if you receive unexpected funds and want to spend the money in the current fiscal year, talk to your city as soon as possible.
Further Resources http://bit.ly/gaZRJ0
Amending the Budget (In a Nutshell)
The Library Budget Part 2: Amending the Budget
<ul><li>“ We received some money we hadn’t expected; can the board just revise the library budget and spend that money?” </li></ul>
Public Safety City Budget Public Works Health & Social Services General Government Debt Service Utilities Capital Projects Community & Eco Devo Culture & Recreation
$1000 under budget Want to spend $800 more than budgeted Net= $200 under certified budget Culture & Recreation