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The City Budget 101

Every city government prepares an annual budget that is a plan of expected revenues,  and expenditures, as well as savings reserves for emergency and future use. The City of North Plains is moving from an annual to a biennial (two-year) budget cycle beginning on July 1, 2021, and will start the budget review and approval process for this biennial budget in mid-April.

During the budget creation process, the North Plains City Council, the City’s Budget Committee, and city staff work to create a budget that aligns with the city’s goals, priorities, and strategic initiatives. The 2021 schedule included:

The city budget is constantly monitored and can be adjusted during the approved budget cycle by the council in case of emergencies or if significant unexpected revenues are received. The City also uses a budget forecasting tool to look further into the future and help guide decision-making processes.

North Plains operates with a budget of around $10 million annually* (or $20 million biennially*)  across various fund categories including the General Fund, Enterprise Funds, and Capital Funds. *There is also about the same amount reflected in the budget that is held in reserves for emergency and contingency funds.
The General Fund:The General Fund is the City’s largest fund and pays for most of the day-to-day services of the City including General Government, Public Safety, Library, Parks & Recreation, and Community Development.

Click on the charts at the bottom of this page to see where the General Fund money comes from and what it is spent on.

Did you know? North Plains’ local property tax rate is the second lowest among all cities in Washington County. Also, unlike most other cities, North Plains currently does not have a local option property tax levy to boost specific services.
Other funds:Streets & Water Enterprise Funds - these funds are financed and function more like a private business, and account for revenues from charging fees for a service and the expenses for delivering that service. The Street Fund is primarily for maintenance and management of the City’s streets, sidewalks, and other right-of-way assets such as street lights, and funding sources include Transportation Utility Fees and intergovernmental revenues (fuel taxes, county vehicle registration fees). The Water Fund is the water utility for residential and commercial customers inside city limits and is funded by user fees (ie, your water account). 

Capital Funds - these funds are for dedicated revenues and expenses for maintaining and expanding City capital facilities, such as roads, paths, parks, and water infrastructure. These capital improvements are long-term investments in city facilities and infrastructure. There are seven Capital Funds as of Fiscal Year 2021 including Transportation (four funds each to account for different revenue sources), Water Utility Fund, Parks Fund, Vehicle Reserve, Transportation Development Tax Fund, and the Urban Renewal Agency that acts much like a Capital Fund.

Capital funding sources differ by fund and include system development charges (SDC) collected from developers as new development occurs, some grants, accrued interest, and various transfers from the General Fund.

We welcome and encourage public participation in the City’s budget process.  For more information on the budget, you can attend the public meetings listed above, take a look at the detailed current adopted annual budget document on the city’s website, or join the Budget Committee! Call 503-647-5555 for more information.

Click any thumbnail image to view a slideshow

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