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Budget and Finance

The City of San Marcos operates on a July to June fiscal year, and every year by the end of June an annual budget is approved by the city council.

In anticipation of the June approval, city staff meets regularly with the city's Budget Review Committee, a committee of citizens who hold regular meetings on budgetary matters, and who invite the public to provide input on budget priorities.

The Budget Review Committee is then required to:

  • Review and discuss the status of each department’s budget situation and make recommendations to the Finance Director and City Council.

  • Consider cost saving measures to reduce or eliminate any possible deficit in annual budget proposals.

  • Establish as a primary goal a balanced budget proposal for each annual budget proposal submitted.

  • Conduct a thorough and analytical review of the annual Capital Improvement Budget and recommend to the Finance Director and City Council changes in project priorities as deemed appropriate or necessary.


With city staff, the committee crafts a final budget that is presented to the City Council for comment, modification, and approval. The City Council relies heavily on the Budget Review Committee to present a balanced budget to the City Council for approval.

It is important that city leadership is conservative when predicting revenues in the upcoming year and then set expenditures within that total revenue amount. If the city expects a reduction in revenues, as it did during the Covid pandemic, it can make cuts in personnel and services to stay within its expected revenues, or it can dip into its healthy reserve accounts. This is what the city did during Covid, with the expectation that the reserves will be replenished when revenues return to pre-Covid amounts.

The goal of every city budget is to operate within the constraints of predicted revenues while maintaining a high level of service to the public.

As mayor, I will continue the long tradition of maintaining healthy reserve accounts, which currently represent roughly 40% of the city’s entire budget, as I have in my four years on the city council.

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