Appendix B: Laws, Regulations, and Principles Governing the Budget Process

Every local government in Georgia is required by state law to adopt a balanced operating budget for each governmental and special revenue fund for its fiscal year. The following list details some of the legal and procedural requirements related to the budget process. For clarification about specific legal issues related to your city’s budget process, please consult with your city’s finance or budget officer or your city attorney.
  • O.C.G.A. §§ 36-81-5 and 36-81-6: Preparation of proposed budget; submission to governing authority; public review of proposed budget; notice of budget hearing and budget adoption meeting.
  • O.C.G.A. § 50-18-70: Open Records Act
  • O.C.G.A. § 48-5-32: Requirements for setting millage rates, and the “Property Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights Law,” Revenue Rule 560-11-2-.58.
  • O.C.G.A. § 36-81-3: Establishment of fiscal year; requirement of annual balanced budget; adoption of budget ordinances or resolutions generally; budget amendments; uniform chart of accounts.
  • O.C.G.A. § 36-81-3(d): Requirement to adopt a resolution or ordinance to approve a budget amendment.
  • O.C.G.A. § 36-81-4: Appointment of budget officer; performance of duties by governing authority in absence of appointment; utilization of executive budget.
  • O.C.G.A. § 36-80-21: Electronic transmission of budgets having an annual budget in excess of $1 million and all financial audits are required to be uploaded to the Carl Vinson Institute of Government website.
  • O.C.G.A. § 36-81-7: Annual audit requirements; due date; corrective action plan.
  • Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP): failure to report using GAAP will result in a qualified or adverse audit opinion and risk of losing Qualified Local Government (QLG) status.