Staying Informed

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Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What is the City's total Budget?

    The total 2013 City budget is $134,892,000.  State law requires municipalities’ budgets to be on a calendar year (January - December).

  2. What is a City Budget?

    One of the most important documents of any municipality is the annual city budget. It establishes how public funding will be spent and outlines the spending priorities for the future calendar year. Costs for everyday services such as trash pick up, police patrol, fire response, water services, street repair and recreation and parks programs are itemized in the budget.

  3. How is the City's budget developed?

    The City’s fiscal year is the same as the calendar year and runs from January 1st through December 31st. State law requires, under either mayoral or city manager form of government, that the annual proposed budget be presented to the City Council by December 1st of the current year, and requires that the City Council approve a budget by February 1st of the budget year. These requirements drive the deadlines and timelines for the operating budget process.

  4. What are "funds" and why does the City have them?

    The City receives revenues from many different sources. Most of them have restrictions on how they can be used. For example, money from the Federal Government (Community Development Block Grant, or CDBG funds) must be used in low and moderate census track areas. Monies received through sewer fees must be used to operate and maintain the City’s sewer system. The largest fund in the City is the General Fund which is the City’s primary funding source. The General Fund is supported by taxes and fees and generally has no restrictions on their use.

  5. What is the General Fund portion of the City's budget?

    The total 2013 General Fund budget is $36,057,000.  This is the largest fund and is supported by taxes and fees.

  6. What is an Enterprise Fund?

    An Enterprise Fund is a government facility or service that is self supporting through the fees associated with operating that particular service. The City currently has four Enterprise Funds (Water & Sewer Fund, Solid Waste Fund, Airport Fund and the Town Center and Parking Facility Fund).

  7. What is the difference between a Department, a Division and a Program in the City's budget?

    Departments are the major organizational sub-divisions.  They have a broad overall purpose.  Divisions are the major operational areas of the City. Each division is assigned to one of the City’s departments according to the type of activity it performs.  Programs are operating units within the division.  Each program represents a specific type of activity within its division aimed at providing a service for which the City is responsible.  For example, one program in the Transportation Division is Street Maintenance which resides in the Transportation Services Department.  Based on staff’s assessment of costs and needs, the desires of citizens and the priorities of the City Council, the Transportation Division is budgeted a set amount of money to accomplish street maintenance.

  8. What is a property tax? What is the City's current property tax rate for operations?

    Property tax is computed from the assessed valuation of land and improvements on real property.  The City’s current property tax rate for operations is 1.3 mils or $.13 per $100 of assessed valuation.  This tax is budgeted in the City’s General Fund.

  9. How much does the average citizen pay based on the above tax rate?

    Washington County has set the assessed value of a residential property at 20% of its fair market value.  The City’s tax levy is taken times this assed valuation.  For example:  An individual who owns a home with an actual value of $160,000 would pay the following to the City:

    $160,000 x 20% = $32,000 assessed valuation

    $32,000 divided by $100 = $320 x $0.13 = $41.60

  10. What is the total sales tax rate in Fayetteville?

    9.75%

    For a breakdown by jurisdiction, please see the Sales Tax Rates

  11. What is the total number of City positions?

    The total number of authorized FTE (full-time equivalent) positions in the City is 757.00. Some positions are required to work less than the standard number of working hours and days; therefore, the total number of positions in the City is not a whole number.

  12. What is a full-time equivalent position (FTE)?

    An FTE refers to one or more employees working 40 hours per week, or 2,080 hours per year. For example, a part-time employee working 20 hours per week would be considered a 0.5 FTE.

  13. What is the CIP (Capital Improvement Program)?

    The Capital Improvement Program examines the infrastructure and capital needs of the City for the next five years. The CIP may be reviewed and updated on an annual basis to reflect the changing needs of the community and changes in available monies for financing capital projects. The City’s philosophy concerning the use of the CIP is that it should be considered as a financial planning tool that lists the City’s capital improvement projects, places the projects in a priority order, and schedules the project for funding and implementation.

  14. What is the difference between the capital budget and the operating budget?

    The capital budget, or capital improvement plan, is an appropriation of bonds or operating revenue for improvements to city facilities that may include buildings, parks, streets, trails and water and sewer lines. The operating budget covers the costs of the city’s day-to-day operations, such as employee salaries, supplies, and contracts.

  15. What are the responsibilities of the Budget & Information Management Division of the Finance & Internal Services Department?

    The Budget & Information Management Division of the Finance & Internal Services Department is primarily responsible for the development and preparation of the City of Fayetteville’s annual operating budget and Capital Improvement Program budget. In addition, staff provides analysis and recommendations regarding fiscal and operational issues to the Mayor’s Office, the City Council, and the City’s operating departments.

  16. How do I get involved in the budget process?

    The City Council holds public hearings on the City’s Proposed Budget during November and December.  City Council agendas are available here:

    http://www.accessfayetteville.org/government/city_clerk/boards_and_commissions/meeting_docs.cfm

  17. How do I get a copy of the City Budget?

    You can get a copy of the budget document online at: http://www.accessfayetteville.org/government/budget/annual_budget_work_program/index.cfm

  18. What is the population of Fayetteville?

    The official population for Fayetteville, Arkansas is 73,580 which is as of March 31, 2010.  For a breakdown see the following link:
    http://www.accessfayetteville.org/government/budget/Research_Information/index.cfm

  19. What is the largest source of revenue for the City?

    The largest source of revenue for the City is sales tax. The total amount of taxes budgeted during the 2013 budget year is $50.3 million (37.3% of the budget).
    Sales tax revenue primarily consists of City and County Sales Tax, Alcoholic Beverage Tax and the Hotel, Motel, Restaurant (HMR) Tax.