Article 8. Fiscal Management
§1-801 FISCAL MANAGEMENT; FISCAL YEAR. The fiscal year of the Municipality and any public utility of the Municipality commences on October 1 and extends through the following September 30 except as provided in the Municipal Proprietary Function Act. (Ref 17-701 RS Neb.)
§1-802 FISCAL MANAGEMENT; PROPOSED BUDGET STATEMENT FILING. (1) The Governing Body shall, not later than the first (1st) day of August of each year on forms prescribed and furnished by the Nebraska State Auditor, prepare in writing and file with the Municipal Clerk a proposed budget statement containing the following:
(a) For the immediate two (2) prior fiscal years, the revenue from all sources, other than revenue received from taxation, allocated to each of the several funds and separately stated as to each such source, and for each fund: The unencumbered cash balance of such fund at the beginning and end of the year; the amount received by taxation allocated to each fund; and the amount of actual expenditure for each fund;
(b) For the current fiscal year, actual and estimated revenue from all sources, allocated to each of the several funds and separately stated as to each such source, and for each fund: The actual unencumbered cash balance available for such fund at the beginning of the year; the amount received from taxation allocated to each fund; and the amount of actual and estimated expenditure, whichever is applicable. Such statement shall contain the cash reserve for each such fund for each fiscal year and shall note whether or not such reserve is encumbered. Such cash reserve projections shall be based upon the actual experience of prior years. The cash reserve shall not exceed fifty percent (50%) of the total budget adopted for such fund exclusive of capital outlay items;
(c) For the immediately ensuing fiscal year, an estimate of revenue from all sources, other than revenue to be received from taxation, separately stated as to each such source, to be allocated to each of the several funds, and for each fund: The actual or estimated unencumbered cash balances, whichever is applicable, to be available at the beginning of the year; the amounts proposed to be expended during the year; and the amount of cash reserve, based on actual experience of prior years, which cash reserve shall not exceed fifty percent (50%) of the total budget adopted exclusive of capital outlay items;
(d) A statement setting out separately the amount sought to be raised from the levy of a tax on the taxable value of real property (I) for the purpose of paying the principal or interest on bonds issued by the Governing Body and (ii) for all other purposes;
(e) A uniform summary of the proposed budget statement which shall include a separate total for each fund, including each proprietary function fund included in a separate proprietary budget statement prepared pursuant to the Municipal Proprietary Function Act, and a grand total of all funds maintained by the Governing Body; and
(f) A list of the proprietary functions which are not in eluded in the budget statement if a separate proprietary budget statement has been prepared for such proprietary functions pursuant to the Municipal Proprietary Function Act.
(2) The actual or estimated unencumbered cash balance of each fund required to be included in the budget statement by this section shall include deposits and investments of the Municipality as well as any funds held by the County Treasurer for the Municipality and shall be accurately stated on the proposed budget statement,
(3) The estimated expenditures plus the required cash reserve for the ensuing fiscal year less all estimated and actual unencumbered balances at the beginning of the year and less the estimated income from all sources other than taxation shall equal the amount to be received from taxes, and such amount shall be shown on the proposed budget statement filed pursuant to this section. The amount to be raised from taxation, as determined above, plus the estimated revenue from sources other than taxation and the unencumbered balances shall equal the estimated expenditures, plus the necessary required cash reserve, for the ensuing year. (Ref 13-504, 13-505 RS Neb.)
§1-803 FISCAL MANAGEMENT; BUDGET HEARING. Subsequent to the filing of the proposed budget statement, the Governing Body shall publish a proposed budget and conduct a public hearing on the proposed budget statement. Notice of the place and time of the said hearing, as well as a copy of the proposed budget, shall be published at least five (5) days prior to the date set for the hearing in a newspaper of general circulation in the Municipality. After such hearing, the statement shall be adopted, or amended, and adopted as amended, and a written record shall be made of such hearing. If the adopted budget statement reflects a change from that shown in the published proposed budget statement, a summary of such changes shall be published within twenty (20) days after its adoption. (Ref 13-506 RS Neb.)
§1-804 FISCAL MANAGEMENT: ADOPTED BUDGET STATEMENT; FILING. The Governing Body shall file with and certify to the levying board on or before September twentieth (20th) of each year, and file with the Nebraska State Auditor, a copy of the adopted budget statement, together with the amount of tax to be levied, setting out separately the amount to be levied for the payment of principal or interest on bonds issued by the Governing Body and the amount to be levied for all other purposes. Proof of publication shall be attached to the statements. The Governing Body shall not certify any tax that exceeds the maximum levy prescribed by State law, except that in certifying the amount to be so levied, allowance may be made for delinquent taxes not exceeding five percent (5%) of the amount to be levied plus the actual percentage of delinquent taxes for the preceding tax year. (Ref 13-508 RS Neb.)
§1-805 FISCAL MANAGEMENT; BUDGET PROCEDURE. The Manual of Instructions for City/Village: Budgets, prepared by the Auditor of Public Accounts, State Capitol, Lincoln, Nebraska 68509 is incorporated by reference for the purpose of proper budget preparation.
§1-806 FISCAL MANAGEMENT; APPROPRIATIONS. The Governing Body shall adopt a budget statement pursuant to the Nebraska Budget Act, to be termed “The Annual Appropriation Bill”, in which are appropriated such sums of money as may be deemed necessary to defray all necessary expenses and liabilities of the Municipality. (Ref 17-706 RS Neb.)
§1-807 FISCAL MANAGEMENT; GENERAL PROPERTY TAX. The Governing Body shall cause to be certified to the County Clerk the amount of tax to be levied upon the actual value of all the taxable property of the Municipality for the requirements of the adopted budget for the ensuing year, including all special assessments and taxes. The maximum amount of tax which may be certified and assessed shall not require a tax levy in excess of the legal maximum as prescribed by State law. (Ref 17-702 RS Neb.)
§1-808 FISCAL MANAGEMENT; EXPENDITURES. No Municipal official shall have the power to appropriate, issue, or draw any order or warrant on the Municipal Treasury for money, unless the same has been appropriated or ordered by ordinance. No expenditure for any improvement to be paid for out of the general fund of the Municipality shall exceed in any one (1) year the amount provided for that improvement in the adopted budget statement. (Ref 17-708 RS Neb.)
§1-809 FISCAL MANAGEMENT; CONTRACT. (1) The Governing Body shall before making any contract in excess of twenty thousand dollars ($20,000.00) as estimated by the Municipal Engineer, for general improvements, such as water extensions, sewers, public heating system, bridges, or work on streets, or any other work or improvement where the cost of such improvement shall be assessed to the property, advertise for bids. In advertising for bids for any such work, or for the purchase of such equipment, the Governing Body may cause the amount of such estimate to be published therewith,
(2) Such advertisement shall be published once each week for three (3) consecutive weeks in a legal newspaper published in or of general circulation in the Municipality, or by posting a written or printed copy thereof in each of three (3) public places in the Municipality; provided, that in case of a public emergency resulting from infectious or contagious diseases, destructive windstorms, floods, snow, an exigency or pressing necessity or unforeseen need calling for immediate action or remedy to prevent a serious loss of, or serious injury or damage to life, health, or property, or war, estimates of costs and advertising for bids may be waived in the emergency ordinance when adopted by a three-fourths (3/4) vote of the Governing Body.
(3) If, after advertising for bids as provided in this section, the Governing Body receives fewer than two (2) bids on a contract for services, material, or labor, or if the bids received by the Governing Body contain a price which exceeds the estimated cost of the project, the Governing Body shall have the authority to negotiate a contract for services, material, or labor in an attempt to complete the proposed project at a cost commensurate with the estimate given.
(4) If the materials are of such a nature that, in the opinion of the manufacturer and with the concurrence of the Governing Body, no cost can be estimated until the materials have been manufactured or assembled to the specific qualifications of the purchasing Municipality, the Governing Body may authorize the manufacture and assemblage of such materials and may thereafter approve the estimated cost expenditure
when it is provided by the manufacturer.
(5) The Municipal bidding procedure shall be waived when materials or equipment are purchased at the same price and from the same seller as materials or equipment which have formerly been obtained pursuant to the State bidding procedure. (Ref 17-568.01, 17-613 RS Neb.)
§1-810 FISCAL MANAGEMENT; ANNUAL AUDIT; FINANCIAL STATEMENTS. The Governing Body shall cause an audit of the Municipal accounts to be made by a qualified accountant as expeditiously as possible following the close of the fiscal year. Such audit shall be made on a cash or accrual method at the discretion of the Governing Body. The said audit shall be completed, and the annual audit report made not later than six (6) months after the close of the fiscal year. The accountant making the audit shall submit not less than three (3) copies of the audit report to the Governing Body. All public utilities or other enterprises which substantially generate their own revenue shall be audited separately and the results of such audits shall appear separately in the annual audit report, and such audits shall be on an accrual basis and shall contain statements and materials which conform to generally accepted accounting principles. The audit report shall set forth the financial position and results of financial operations for each fund or group of accounts of the Municipality as well as an opinion by the accountant with respect to the financial statements. Two (2) copies of the annual audit report shall be filed with the Municipal Clerk, and shall become a part of the public records of the Municipal Clerk̓s office, and will at all times thereafter, be open for public inspection. One (1) copy shall be filed with the Auditor of Public Accounts. Every Governing Body that is required herein to submit to an audit of its accounts shall provide and file with the Municipal Clerk, not later than August 1 of each year, financial statements showing its actual and budgeted figures for the most recently completed fiscal year. (Ref 19-2901 through 19-2909, 13-606 RS Neb.)
§1-811 FISCAL MANAGEMENT; CLAIMS. All claims against the Municipality shall be presented to the Governing Body in writing with a full account of the items, and no claim or demand shall be audited or allowed unless presented as provided for in this section. No costs shall be recovered against the Municipality in any action brought against it for an unliquidated claim which has not been presented to the Governing Body to be audited, nor upon claims allowed in part, unless the recovery shall be for a greater sum than the amount allowed, with the interest due. No order, or warrant shall be drawn in excess of eighty-five (85%) percent of the current levy for the purpose for which it is drawn unless there shall be sufficient money in the Municipal Treasury for the appropriate fund against which it is to be drawn; provided, that in the event there exists obligated funds from the Federal and/or State government for the general purpose of such warrant, then such warrant may be drawn in excess of eighty-five percent (85%), but not more than one hundred (100%) percent of the current levy for the purpose for which said warrant is drawn. (Ref 17-714, 17-715 RS Neb.)
§1-812 FISCAL MANAGEMENT; WARRANTS. All warrants drawn upon the Municipal Treasury must be signed by the Mayor and countersigned by the Municipal Clerk, stating the particular fund to which the warrant is chargeable, the person to whom it is payable, and the purpose of the expenditure. No money shall be otherwise paid than upon warrants so drawn. Each warrant shall specify the amount included in the adopted budget statement for the fund upon which it is drawn, and the amount already expended of such fund. (Ref 17-711 RS Neb.)
§1-813 FISCAL MANAGEMENT; TRANSFER OF FUNDS. The Governing Body may, whenever during the current fiscal year it becomes apparent due to unforeseen emergencies that there is temporarily insufficient money in a particular fund to meet the requirements of the adopted budget of expenditures for that fund, by a majority vote transfer money from other funds to such fund. No expenditure during any fiscal year shall be made in excess of the amounts indicated in the adopted budget statement, except as authorized herein. Whenever during the current fiscal year it becomes apparent that there are circumstances which could not reasonably have been anticipated at the time the budget for the current year was adopted such that either the revenue of the current fiscal year for any fund thereof will be insufficient or additional expenses will be necessarily incurred, the Governing Body may propose to supplement the previously adopted budget statement and shall conduct a public hearing at which time any taxpayer may appear, or file a written statement protesting the application for additional money. A written record shall be kept of all such hearings. Notice of a place, and time for the said hearing shall be published at least five (5) days prior to the date set for the hearing in a newspaper of general circulation in the Municipality. The published notice shall set forth the time, and place of the proposed hearing, the amount of additional money required, the purpose of the required money, a statement setting forth the reasons why the adopted budget of expenditures cannot be reduced to meet the need for additional money, and a copy of the summary of the originally adopted budget previously published. Upon the conclusion of the public hearing on the proposed supplemental budget, and the approval by the Governing Body, the Governing Body shall file with the County Clerk and the Nebraska State Auditor a copy of the supplemental budget, and shall certify the amount of additional tax to be levied. The Governing Body may then issue warrants in payment for expenditures authorized by the adopted supplemental budget. The said warrants shall be referred to as “registered warrants,” and shall be repaid during the next fiscal year from funds derived from taxes levied therefor. (Ref 13-510, 13-511 RS Neb.)
§1-814 FISCAL MANAGEMENT; SPECIAL ASSESSMENT FUND. All money received on special tax assessments shall be held by the Municipal Treasurer as a special fund to be applied to the payment of the improvement for which the assessment was made, and such money shall be used for no other purpose unless to reimburse the Municipality for money expended for any such improvement. (Ref 17-710 RS Neb.)
§1-815 FISCAL MANAGEMENT; SINKING FUNDS. The Governing Body, subject to the limitations set forth herein, shall have the power to levy a tax not to exceed that prescribed by State law upon the assessed value of all taxable property within the Municipality for a term not to exceed that prescribed by State law in addition to the amount of tax which may be annually levied for the purposes of the adopted budget statement of the Municipality, for the purpose of establishing a sinking fund for the construction, purchase, improvement, extension, or repair of the approved uses as authorized by State law. To initiate the said sinking fund, the Governing Body shall declare its purpose by resolution to submit to the qualified electors of the Municipality the proposition to provide the improvement at the next general Municipal election. The resolution shall set forth the improvement, the estimated cost, the amount of the annual levy, the number of years required to provide the required revenue, the name of the sinking fund proposed, and the proposition as it will appear on the ballot. Notice of the said proposition shall be published in its entirety three (3) times on successive weeks before the day of the election in a legal newspaper of general circulation in the Municipality. The sinking fund may be established after the election if a majority, or more of the legal votes were in favor of the establishment of the fund. The Governing Body may then proceed to establish the said fund in conformity with the provisions of the proposition, and applicable State law. The funds received by the Municipal Treasurer shall, as they accumulate, be immediately invested with the written approval of the Governing Body in the manner provided by State law. No sinking fund so established shall be used for any purpose or purposes contrary to the purpose as it appeared on the ballot unless the Governing Body is authorized to do so by sixty percent (60%) of the qualified electors of the Municipality voting at a general election favoring such a change in the use of the sinking fund. (Ref 19-1301 through 19-1304, 77-2337, 77-2339 RS Neb.)
§1-816 FISCAL MANAGEMENT; DEPOSIT OF FUNDS. The Governing Body, at its first (1st) meeting in each fiscal year, shall designate one (1) or more banks of approved and responsible standing in which the Municipal Treasurer shall keep at all times all money held by him; provided, if more than one (1) bank in the Municipality meets the requirements for approved banks as herein defined, the said funds shall be deposited in each of them, and the Municipal Treasurer shall not give a preference to any one (1) or more of them in the money he shall deposit. A bond shall be required from all banks so selected in a penal sum which equals the maximum amount on deposit at any time less the amount insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation or a pledge of sufficient assets of the bank to secure the payment of all such deposits. (Ref 17-607, 77-2362 through 77-2364 RS Neb.)
§1-817 FISCAL MANAGEMENT; INVESTMENT OF FUNDS. Whenever the Municipality has accumulated a surplus of any fund in excess of its current needs or has accumulated a sinking fund for the payment of its bonds and the money in such sinking fund exceeds the amount necessary to pay the principal and interest of any such bonds which become due during the current year, the Governing Body may invest any such surplus in certificates of deposit, in time deposits, and in any securities in which the State Investment Officer is authorized by law and as provided in the authorized investment guidelines of the Nebraska Investment Council in effect on the date the investment is made. (Ref 17-608, 17-609, 21-1316.01, 77-2341 RS Neb.)
§1-818 FISCAL MANAGEMENT; BOND ISSUES. The Governing Body may, after meeting all the requirements of State law, issue bonds, fund bonds, and retire bonds for such purposes as may be permitted by State law. The Governing Body shall have the authority to levy special assessments for the payment of interest and principal on such bonds, and may spread the payments up to the maximum number of years permitted by State law. (Ref 10-201 through 10-411, 10-601 through 10-614, 12-1001, 17-529.01, 17-529.08, 17-534, 17-905,17-908, 17-911, 17-939, 17-958, 17-968, 18-1801 through 18-1805, 23-343.13, 39-836 RS Neb.)
§1-819 FISCAL MANAGEMENT; MOTOR VEHICLE TAX. The Governing Body may levy a tax on all motor vehicles owned or used in the Municipality, which tax shall be paid to the County Treasurer of the county when the registration fees as provided in sections 60-329 to 60-339, R.S. Neb, are paid. Such taxes shall be credited by County Treasurer to the road fund of the Municipality. Such funds shall be used by the Municipality for constructing, resurfacing, maintaining, or improving streets, roads alleys, public ways, or parts thereof, for the amortization of bonded indebtedness when created for such purposes. (Ref 18-1214 RS Neb.)
§1-820 FISCAL MANAGEMENT; COLLECTION OF SPECIAL ASSESSMENTS; PROCEDURE. (1) The Municipality shall have the authority to collect the special assessments which it levies and perform all other necessary functions related thereto including foreclosure.
(2) If the Municipality elects to collect its special assessments, notice that special assessments are due shall be mailed or otherwise delivered to the last-known address of the person against whom such special assessments are assessed or to the lending institution or other party responsible for paying such special assessments. Failure to receive such notice shall not relieve the taxpayer from any liability to pay such special assessments and any interest or penalties accrued thereon.
(3) A Municipality that elects to collect, its special assessments shall:
(a) File notice of the assessments and the amount of assessment being levied for each lot or tract of land to the Register of Deeds; and
(b) File a release of assessment upon final payment of each assessment with the Register of Deeds.
(Ref 18-1216 RS Neb.)
§1-821 FISCAL MANAGEMENT; PROPERTY TAX LEVY AUTHORITY TO SET. Upon receipt of the preliminary levy from the County Clerk, the Governing Body may either accept or change the amount of the preliminary levy established by the County. If the amount of the preliminary levy is deemed to be adequate and sufficient by the Governing Body, the preliminary levy shall become the final levy without further action by the Governing Body. The Governing Body may reject the preliminary levy and pass by a majority vote a resolution or ordinance setting the levy at a different amount prior to October 15. Such resolution or ordinance shall only be passed after the Governing Body holds a special public hearing called for such purpose and after notice of the hearing is published in a newspaper of general circulation within the Municipality at least five days prior to the hearing. Any resolution or ordinance setting a tax levy under this section shall be forwarded to the County Clerk and certified. (Ref 77-1601.01. 77-1601.02 RS Neb.)