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Budget
Governmental Organization

The Town of Belleair operates under the council-manager form of government and was incorporated in 1925.  The town commission is comprised of five members; a mayor/commissioner, and four commissioners, elected to specific seats, but on a community wide basis.  The town commission appoints a professional town manager, who serves as the chief administrative officer of the town.

The Town of Belleair provides a full range of services normally associated with a municipality, including police protection, public works operations, code enforcement activities, permitting and building services, parks, and other recreational services.  In addition, the town provides its citizens with water, and solid waste services.


Budget Procedures

The Town of Belleair's annual budget is both an expression of public policy and a fiscal plan for the allocation of municipal resources necessary to accomplish specific programs.  The budget approval process involves the active participation of the town's elected officials, who collectively establish expenditure priorities and evaluate the town manager's recommended budget and program allocations for the various town service functions.  The budget is developed after departmental, citizen input during formal public hearings, and ultimately adopted by the town commission.

Financial Strategic Plan
Starting in February of every year, the town updates its five-year capital improvement program and five-year operating forecasts.  The five-year strategic financial plan is completed by June of every year.  During this planning process, special attention is given to the re-evaluation of the Town of Belleair’s overall mission, resident and commission directives, state mandates, situational assessments, and long-term strategic issues.  The process of developing the five-year strategic plan is the foundation of the annual budget development process.  The strategic plan is included as part of the budget document to illustrate how the annual budget is developed.

Budget Presentation
Belleair's Town Charter requires the town manager to submit to the Town Commission an operating budget for the ensuing fiscal and an accompanying budget message to the town commission no later than sixty (60) days prior to the end of the fiscal year.

The town manager's budget message and forward explain the budget from both fiscal and programmatic perspectives.  They also describe the proposed financial policies of the town, the special features of the budget as well as any major changes from the current year financial policies, expenditures and revenues and the reasons for such changes.  It may also describe any potential debt of the town, and include other supplementary explanations of organizational changes, and/or budget items requested by the town commission.

The operating budget contains a complete financial plan of all town funds and activities for the ensuing fiscal year.  In organizing the operating budget, the town manager utilizes a variety of expenditure classifications that adequately and most accurately disclose all material amounts budgeted by fund, organizational unit, program purpose, activity and accounting object.  The budget document begins with a clear summary of its contents; details all estimated revenues including sources thereof, and indicates the requisite property tax levy.  It also details all proposed expenditures, including any debt service obligations for the fiscal year; and shows comparative figures for both actual and estimated revenues and expenditures of the preceding fiscal year, and both budgeted revenue and expenditures for the current year.

Elements of the budget include the following:

  • Budget guide
  • Financial policies
  • Summaries
  • Organizational chart
  • Position analysis
  • Departmental and fund budgets
  • Five-year strategic plans and forecasts
  • Pinellas County tax and rate survey
  • Glossary of terms

Capital Improvement Fund
The annual operating budget and capital improvement program (CIP) budget are complementary town plans.  The annual budget is a guide for the day-to-day operations of the town's programs and services.  While the CIP is a management, legislative and community tool used to facilitate the planning, control and execution of major capital expenditures.  The five-year CIP schedule provides the plan for needed public improvements within the town's fiscal capacity.

For those projects proposed for commission consideration, recommended funding sources are identified; the specific objective from the Belleair comprehensive plan is referenced, and future operating costs are estimated for the commissions' and publics' edification.

The town commission reviews the manager's proposed capital project requests.  After public hearings and potential modification, the budgets for the CIP are adopted on a multi-year, program basis.  Budget appropriations may not always lapse at year-end, but may extend across five fiscal years of the CIP.

Public Participation
Public participation in the budget process is encouraged.  Two public hearings, which are required by state law, are held in September at which, budget ordinances are adopted.  The mandated public hearings for ordinance adoption in September complete the process of citizen participation in the budget


Truth in Millage (TRIM)

The budget and property tax (millage rate) adoption process is governed by a state statute known as TRIM (truth in millage).  In Florida, property is assessed by the county property appraiser, and property taxes are collected by the county tax collector.  Property owners are eligible to receive a homestead exemption of fifty thousand ($50,000) on their principal place of residence.  All property is assessed at one hundred percent of real value, which is on average, eighty five percent of market value.

The town is required to hold two public hearings for adoption of its property tax (millage) rate and budget.  The first public hearing is advertised by a property appraiser mailing to each property owner by way of a TRIM notice.  Under the "truth in millage" compliance laws, the town publishes an additional advertisement.  The town publishes this advertisement once in a newspaper of general circulation, at least five days prior to its public hearing.  This notice contains the general summary of the operating budget, capital improvement budget and program, and the times and places where copies of the budget message, operating budget, capital improvement budget and program are available for inspection by the public; and the times and places for public hearing.

The town commission must adopt the operating budget and capital improvement budget and program before the end of each current fiscal year for the ensuing fiscal year.


Budgetary Basis

The Town of Belleair has developed and follows a program based budget format.  The budget is prepared in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP).

Governmental funds use the modified accrual basis of accounting, whereby expenditures are recognized in the accounting period when the liability is incurred, if measurable, and revenues and other resources are recognized in the accounting period when they become available and measurable.  Revenues are considered to meet the availability test if they are collectible within the current period or soon enough thereafter for use in payment of liabilities of the current period.

Proprietary, or "enterprise" funds use the full accrual basis of accounting.  Revenues are recognized in the period in which they are earned, and expenses are recognized in the period in which the liabilities are incurred.

The annual budget addresses only the governmental and proprietary groups and does not control resources that are managed in a trustee or fiduciary capacity.

All appropriations unspent at year-end lapse, unless funds are encumbered as the result of the issuance of a purchase order.  Such purchase orders remain valid until either canceled or final payment is made, or are specifically addressed by town charter.


Financial Structure

The Town of Belleair uses funds to budget for operations and to account for the results of those operations.  Fund accounting is designed to demonstrate legal compliance and to aid financial management by segregating transactions related to certain functions or activities.

Budgets are adopted for funds that are either governmental funds or proprietary funds. Each category is also divided into separate fund groups. The following are the funds of the Town of Belleair for which the commission adopts an annual budget.

Governmental Funds - The governmental funds consist of the general fund, the special revenue funds, and the capital projects funds.

General Fund - The general fund is the general operating fund of the town.  This fund was established to account for the revenues and expenditures involved in operating general governmental functions of a non-proprietary nature.  Major revenue sources for this fund include: ad valorem taxes; franchise and utility taxes; sales taxes; license and permit fees; administrative charges; and charges for current services.  The major operating activities supported by the general fund include police and fire services, streets, permitting, occupational licenses, public works, parks, recreation, and other general governmental service functions.

Special Revenue Funds - Special revenue funds are established to finance particular activities and are created out of receipts of specific taxes or other earmarked revenues.  Such funds are authorized by legal, regulatory or administrative action to pay for certain activities with some form of continuing revenues.  In the Town of Belleair special revenue funds include the following:
  • Tennis fund – to account for membership and other fees restricted for the improvement and maintenance of the town’s tennis courts.
  • Local option gas tax fund – to account for proceeds from the local option gas tax as levied by the Pinellas County, Florida Board of County Commissioners.
  • Capital Projects Funds - Capital project funds are used to account for the acquisition and construction of capital facilities and other fixed assets.
  • Infrastructure fund – to account for proceeds from the Pinellas County, Florida one-cent sales surtax collections, other governmental resources and grant revenues used for the acquisition or construction of general fixed assets identified in the town’s five-year capital improvement plan.
  • Equipment replacement fund – to account for the planned acquisition of equipment, tools, and vehicles. The general fund and enterprise funds will transfer the funds for purchases within the equipment replacement fund.

Enterprise Funds – An enterprise fund is used to account for the town’s services and activities, that are similar to those found in the private sector. An enterprise fund is self-supporting, deriving its revenue from charges levied on the users of these services.  The Town of Belleair's enterprise funds are as follows:

  • Water – to account for the assets, operation and maintenance of the town owned water supply and distribution system.
  • Solid Waste – to account for the assets, operation and maintenance of the town owned refuse collection and disposal system


Belleair Florida
901 Ponce de Leon Blvd.
Belleair, FL 33756
Ph: (727) 588-3769
   Fx: (727) 588-3778
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