How is the Budget Prepared

The County budgets, maintains accounting records and prepares financial statements on a calendar year basis. Rockland Community College observes a fiscal year ending on August 31.

The County Executive annually prepares and files the County budget in accordance with the provisions of the County Charter and County Law. On or before August 1, or such earlier date as the County Executive may prescribe, the administrative heads of all County departments and/or authorized agencies submit estimates of expenses and revenues for the following year.

On or before October 1, the County Executive submits a proposed operating and capital budget for the ensuing year together with his/her budget message to the Clerk to the County Legislature. Upon submission, the Proposed County Budget becomes public record in the Clerk’s office and is available for inspection and distribution.

The proposed County operating budget presents actual expenditures and revenues for the last two completed fiscal years, the adopted and amended/modified budgeted appropriations and estimated revenues of the current fiscal year and appropriations and estimated revenues for the ensuing fiscal year. The County is required by law to prepare and adopt a balanced budget. The capital budget lists all existing projects, their sources of funding, funds expended to date, project status and any changes requested. The capital budget also indicates cost estimates and funding requirements for new projects.

The County Legislature or a committee designated by it reviews and holds hearings on the proposed County budget. The attendance by the heads of units or their representatives at such hearings may be required as deemed appropriate by the Legislature.

No later than November 20 of each year, the County Legislature holds a public hearing on the proposed budget. The County Legislature may add, delete, increase or decrease items in the County budget provided that such additions or increases are separately and distinctly stated.

The County budget with such modifications, if any, must be adopted by resolution of the Legislature not later than December 7. The budget as submitted by the County Executive is deemed to be the adopted budget, if the Legislature takes no action by December 7.

If the budget is modified by the Legislature, it must be returned to the County Executive for examination and reconsideration. The Executive may approve the budget, as modified by the Legislature, by transmitting such budget and his approval to the Clerk to the Legislature. If the Executive objects to any modification to the budget, he must return the budget and a statement setting forth his objections and reason therefore to the Clerk to the Legislature within five days after receiving the budget from the Legislature. The Legislature must then reconsider and approve the budget no later than December 20. A two-thirds vote of the Legislature is needed to override the Executive’s objections.


The following chart summarizes the key dates for review and adoption of the budget, as stated in Article IV of the County Charter and Article IV of the Administrative Code.

 

Key Dates for Review and Adoption of the Budget

Action

Dates

The Departments of Budget & Finance distributes personnel budget request worksheets to County departments.

May 1st

County departments submit their personnel changes & adjustments to the Departments of Budget & Finance.

June 1st

The Departments of Budget & Finance begin reviewing, correcting, adjusting and entering departmental personnel worksheets

Month of June

The Departments of Budget & Finance distribute operating budget request worksheets to County departments.

June 1st

County departments submit their operating budget request worksheets to the Department of Budget & Finance.

July 2nd

The Departments of Budget & Finance begin reviewing, correcting, adjusting and entering departmental operating worksheets.

Month of July

Departments of Budget & Finance begin departmental budget reviews

Month of August

Departments of Budget & Finance begin departmental adjustments

Months of August & September

The County Executive submits the proposed budget to the County Legislature for review.

No later than October 1st

The County Legislature holds a public hearing on the proposed budget.

No later than November 20th

The full Legislature meets to adopt the budget and/or submit changes to the County Executive. If the Legislature takes no action, the budget is deemed adopted.

No later than December 7th

The County Executive must respond to any Legislative changes made to the budget. If the Executive vetoes any change, the budget is returned to the Legislature. If the Executive makes no vetoes, then the proposed budget with any Legislative changes is deemed adopted.

5 working days after receipt from the Legislature

The Legislature can override any Executive veto with a two-thirds majority vote. If the Legislature takes no action, the budget is deemed adopted.

No later than December 20th

If any limitation date mentioned above falls on a holiday, Saturday or Sunday, then any time limitations required herein shall be extended to the next business day of the County. (County Charter Section C4.08 #5)




What Am I Looking At

The Budget is broken down into sections. These sections follow the County's Chart of Accounts. The Chart of Accounts is made up of a Fund, Agency, Organization and Object. The table below shows the various funds in the County and what they represent. An agency is usually made up of a group of departments the Department of Heath or the County Executive. An organization is a department within an agency, such as the Budget Department (which is within the agency of the County Executive) or the Purchasing Department (which is within the agency called General Services). Lastly is the object. Objects represent either groups of expenses or groups of revenue. Expense objects include items such as Salaries, Equipment and Supplies. Revenue objects include items such as State Revenue, Property Sales and Fines.

Fund Name

Fund Description

A - General Fund

All operations not required to be recorded in other funds.

D - County Road Fund

Certain public works functions for the maintenance and improvement of County roads, highways & bridges.

DM - Road Machinery Fund

The operation and maintenance of in-house equipment.

G - Sewer Fund

The conveyance and treatment of sewage from all users within Rockland County Sewer District #1.

EH - Enterprise Hospital Fund

Services provided by the Department of Mental Health for the benefit and well being of all Rockland’s residents.

M - Internal Services Fund

The funding of specific functions provided by one County department to other County departments on a cost reimbursement basis.

MS - Liability Fund

Funding an addition to the self-insured liability coverage reserve.

Q - Unemployment Fund

The County’s self-insured unemployment insurance program. This Fund closed on 1/1/2016

S - Workers Comp. Consortium Fund

A consortium of municipalities’ worker compensation self-insurance plan.

V - Debt Service Fund

The funding for debt service.




Who Approves the Budget

The budget approval process begins in the individual departments. The departments submit their requested budgets to the Budget Department. These submissions are then reviewed and revised. From this review the department's budget is approved by the Budget Department and goes into the County Executive's Proposed Budget. From here the County Executive and Budget Department review the whole budget and create a balanced budget for submission to the County Legislature. The Legislature then reviews and revises the Proposed budget and it is then voted on. When it is approved, it becomes the Adopted Budget.

 


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