Monday, June 25, 2012

City of Cincinnati Begins Putting Priority Based Budgeting to Use

The city’s budget deficits are expected to continue through 2016, with projected annual expenditure growth (2.8 percent) outpacing revenue growth (2.4 percent), leaving the budget structurally unbalanced.

Council anticipated this and established a new budgeting system: priority-driven budgeting. It is a fundamental change in the way resources are allocated. It uses a collaborative, evidence-based approach to measure services against community priorities. For the first time, it “breaks down” departmental budgets into functions and measures those functions against community priorities. It also identifies functions that duplicate services offered by other entities.

Priority-driven budgeting will not eliminate the pain associated with the operating budget cuts, but it will permit the administration and council to be more strategic – to use a scalpel instead of a hatchet when making the cuts.

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