The fiscal year of the city shall begin on the first day of January and end on the last day of December.
At the first regular meeting in October of each year the Mayor shall submit to the Council a proposed budget for the ensuing fiscal year and an accompanying message.
The budget message shall explain the budget both in fiscal terms and in terms of the work programs. It shall outline the proposed financial policies of the city for the ensuing fiscal year, describe the important features of the budget, indicate any major changes from the current year in financial policies, expenditures and revenues, together with the reasons for such changes, summarize the city's debt position and include such other material as deemed appropriate.
Specifications. The budget shall provide a complete financial plan of all city funds and activities for the ensuing fiscal year and, except as required by law or this Charter, shall be in such form as the Mayor deems appropriate or the Council may require. The budget shall utilize the most feasible combination of expenditure classification by funds, organization unit, program, purpose or activity and object. It shall begin with a clear general summary of its contents and shall show in detail all estimated income, including the proposed tax levy, and all proposed expenditures, including debt service, for the ensuing fiscal year. It shall be so arranged as to show comparative figures for actual and estimated income and expenditures of the current fiscal year and actual income and expenditures of the preceding fiscal year. It shall indicate in separate sections:
Proposed expenditures for current operations during the ensuing fiscal year, detailed by offices, departments and agencies in terms of their respective work programs, and the method of financing such expenditures.
Proposed capital expenditures during the ensuing fiscal year, detailed by offices, departments and agencies when practicable, and the proposed method of financing each.
Anticipated net surplus or deficit for the ensuing fiscal year of each utility owned or operated by the city and the proposed method of its disposition. Subsidiary budgets for each such utility giving detailed income and expenditure information shall be attached as appendices to the budget.
All equipment budget lines must include a separate itemized list of proposed equipment purchases for that budget year with proposed expenditures for each piece of equipment. No equipment may be purchased during the course of the fiscal year that is not included on said itemized list, unless the Council approves, upon a roll-call vote, any addition or deletion from said list.
Balanced budget. The total of proposed expenditures shall not exceed the total of estimated income.
Notice and hearing. The Council shall publish in the official newspaper of the city and one (1) or more newspapers of general circulation in the city the general summary of the budget and a notice stating:
Amendment before adoption. After the public hearing, the Council may adopt the budget with or without amendment. In amending the budget, it may add or increase programs or amounts and may delete or decrease any programs or amounts, except expenditures required by law or for debt service.
Adoption. The Council shall adopt the budget on or before the 31st day of the last month of the fiscal year. In the event that the Council fails to adopt a budget by said date, then, in such event, the proposed budget of the Mayor shall, by operation of law, become the budget for the ensuing fiscal year. If the default budget provides for a tax levy in excess of the allowable levy limit, the City Council shall pass a resolution to reduce the amount of the tax levy to an amount that complies with the allowable levy limit. Adoption of the budget shall constitute appropriations of the amounts specified therein as expenditures from the funds indicated. The property tax therein proposed shall constitute a levy.
Quarterly reports. The Mayor shall submit to the Council a written summary of the quarterly financial report each year in April, July and October.
Submission to council. The Mayor shall submit to the Council a five-year capital program by May 31 of each year.
Notice and hearing. The Council shall publish in the official newspaper of the city and in one (1) or more newspapers of general circulation in the city the general summary of the capital program and a notice stating:
Adoption. The Council, by resolution, shall adopt the capital program with or without amendment after the public hearing and on or before the 31st day of July of each year.
Supplemental appropriations. If during the fiscal year the Mayor certifies that there are available for appropriation revenues in excess of those estimated in the budget, the Council, by ordinance, may make supplemental appropriations for the year up to the amount of such excess.
Emergency appropriations. To meet a public emergency affecting life, health, property or the public peace, the Council may make emergency appropriations. To the extent that there are no available unappropriated revenues to meet such appropriations, the Council may by such emergency ordinance authorize the issuance of emergency notes, which may be renewed from time to time, but the emergency notes and renewals of any fiscal year shall be paid not later than the last day of the fiscal year next succeeding that in which the emergency appropriation was made.
Reduction of appropriations. If at any time during the fiscal year it appears probable to the Mayor that the revenues available will be insufficient to meet the amount appropriated, he/she shall report to the Council without delay, indicating the estimated amount of the deficit, any remedial action taken by him/her and his/her recommendations as to any steps to be taken. The Council shall then take such further action as it deems necessary to prevent or minimize any deficit, and for that purpose it may by ordinance reduce one (1) or more appropriations as allowed by law.
Transfer of appropriations. All budget transfers of moneys, except transfers within a department as provided below, must be approved by the City Council upon a roll-call vote, for each requested transfer. No transfers may be made within a department involving accounts for payroll, employee benefits and equipment purchases. In addition, budget transfers of any unencumbered appropriation balance which exceeds seven thousand five hundred dollars ($7,500.) must also be approved by the City Council upon a roll-call vote for each requested transfer.
Payment and obligations prohibited. No payment shall be made or obligation incurred against any allotment or appropriation except in accordance with appropriations duly made, and unless the Mayor or his/her designee first certifies that there is a sufficient unencumbered balance in such allotment or appropriation and that sufficient funds therefrom are or will be available to cover the claim or meet the obligation when it becomes due and payable. Any authorization of payment or incurring of obligation in violation of the provisions of this Charter shall be void and any payment so made illegal. Such illegal authorization or payment shall be cause for removal of any officer who knowingly authorized or made such payment or incurred such obligation, and he/she shall also be liable to the city for any amount so paid.
No city officer or employee shall utilize an automatic signature in processing checks to pay bills and vouchers incurred by the City of Beacon, except in the case of payroll or accounts-payable checks.
Except as herein otherwise specifically provided, the city expenditures in any one (1) year shall not be increased over and above the amount provided in the budget duly adopted by the City Council pursuant to Section 5.03 herein. No contract involving the expenditure and no expenditure for any improvement to be paid out of the general or special funds of the city or for defraying the expenses and liabilities of the city shall exceed in any one (1) year the amount provided in said budget to be paid out of the said general and special funds so appropriated and set apart, but the said general funds shall be maintained for, used and devoted to be particular purposes specified in said budget, except that the unexpended balance in any budget appropriation may, by motion, be transferred to any other budget appropriation contained in said duly adopted budget.
It shall not be lawful for any department or officer of the city to incur or contract any expense or liability for or on behalf of the city unless such an appropriation shall have been made concerning such expenses. Such contract shall be ab initio null and void as to the city for any other or further liability; provided, first, that nothing herein contained shall prevent the city from providing from sums made available for such purposes pursuant to the Local Finance Law for the payment of any expense the necessity of which is caused by any casualty, accident or unforeseen contingency arising after the passage of the Budget; and provided, second, that the provisions of this section shall not apply to or limit the authority conferred pursuant to the Local Finance Law nor for moneys to be collected by special assessments for local improvements. It shall be lawful for the City Council upon the happening of any emergency and upon the declaration of such emergency by resolution of the Council to appropriate from any unexpended funds not otherwise designated for specific purposes by law sufficient funds for the payment of any expenses created by such emergency.