Budget Glossary


Adopted Budget
Financial program that forms the basis for appropriations. Adopted by the governing body.
Accrual Accounting
The basis of accounting that recognizes the timing of resources and expenses as follows: Revenues are recognized when earned and expenses are recognized as soon as a liability is incurred.
Agency Fund
A fund set up to account for assets held by the City in a trustee capacity. For example the Firemen’s Pension Fund.
To divide a lump-sum appropriation which is designated for expenditure by specific organization units and/or for specific purposes, activities, or objects.
An authorization made by the legislative body of a government which permits officials to incur obligations against and to make expenditures of governmental resources. Specific appropriations are usually made at the fund level and are granted for a one-year period.
Assessed Value
Value set on real and personal taxable property as a basis for levying taxes.
Resources owned or held by the City which possess a monetary value.
Conducted by the Washington State Auditor’s Office, the primary objective of an audit is to determine if the City's Financial Statements present the City's financial position fairly and results of operations are in conformity with generally accepted accounting principles.


Balanced Budget
A budget in which planned expenditures do not exceed projected funds available.
Balance Sheet
A financial statement reporting the organization's assets, liabilities and equity activities.
Biennial Budget
A two year budget adopted by the City Council.
A written promise to pay a specified sum of money, called the face value or principal amount, at a specified date or dates in the future, called the maturity date, together with periodic interest at a specified rate.
A written report showing the local government's comprehensive financial plan for one or two fiscal years. It includes a balanced statement of actual revenues and expenditures during each of the last two years, estimated revenues and expenditures, as budgeted, for the current and upcoming year.
Budget Document
The compilation of the spending plans for the various funds, along with supporting schedules, tables and charts which, in total, comprises the annual revenue and expenditure plan.
Budget Message
A written explanation of the budget and the local government's financial priorities. This message was prepared by the Mayor, the executive officer of the governing body.


Capital Outlay
Items which generally have a useful life of one or more years, such as machinery, land, furniture, equipment or buildings.
Comprehensive Plan
The plan, or portions thereof, which has been adopted by the City Council. It is a land use policy statement that guides future growth of the City.
Contractual Services
Services rendered to City activities by private firms, individuals or other governmental agencies. Examples of these services may include street maintenance, engineering, law enforcement, and city attorney services.


Debt Service Fund
A fund used to account for the monies set aside for the payment of interest and principal to holders of City Debt. There are two debt service funds, one for the Unlimited General Obligation Bonds of the City, and the other for all other City debt.
A major organizational unit of the City which has been assigned overall management responsibility for an operation or a group of related operations within a functional area.
(1) Expiration in the service life of capital assets attributable to wear and tear, deterioration, action of the physical elements, inadequacy or obsolescence. (2) That portion of the cost of a capital asset which is charged as an expense during a particular period.
Designated Fund Balance
A portion of unreserved fund balance designated by City policy for a specific future use.


Obligations in the form of purchase orders, contracts or salary commitments which are chargeable to an appropriation and for which a part of appropriation is reserved. When paid, the encumbrance is liquidated.
Enterprise Funds
Funds established to finance and account for the acquisition, operation, and maintenance of governmental facilities and services which are entirely or predominately self-supporting by user charges and fees.
Estimated Beginning / Change / Ending Fund Balance
These numbers are provided to give the user a feel for the financial position and the expected or anticipated change in the Fund’s condition. Some of the numbers are updated after adoption of the budget appropriations resulting in occasional discrepancies from the adopted numbers. There are three to fifteen months of revenues and expenses that affect the actual Fund Balances. In some cases, even though the City has budgeted an amount and authorized expenditures, the City does not expect to spend all amounts appropriated. The table reflects the estimates only, and not actual amounts nor the legal appropriation amounts authorized by the City Council.
Personnel not eligible to receive overtime pay and who are expected to put in whatever hours necessary to complete their job assignments. The respective department head, as partial compensation for hours worked, may allow compensatory time off.
The outflow of funds paid or to be paid for an asset obtained or goods and services obtained regardless of when the expense is actually paid. This term applies to all funds.


F.T.E. / Full-Time Equivalent
The combination of one or more employees whose work hours equal that of a full-time position, normally 40 hours/week, 52 weeks/year.
Fiscal Year
A 12‑month period to which the annual operating budget applies and at the end of which a government determines its financial position and the results of its operations. (January 1 through December 31 for the City of Camas)
Fixed Assets
Assets of a long-term character which are intended to continue to be held or used, such as land, buildings, improvements other than buildings, machinery and equipment that have a value of $5,000 or more and that have a life over one year.
Franchise Fee
A franchise fee is charged for the privilege of using public right-of-way and property within the City for public or private purposes. The City currently assesses franchise fees on cable television, natural gas, and solid waste.
A fiscal and accounting entity with self‑balancing accounts to record cash and other financial resources, related liabilities, balances and changes, all segregated for specific, regulated activities and objectives.
Fund Balance
The excess of a fund's total assets over its total liabilities. A negative fund balance is often referred to as a deficit.
Provides budgetary resources to cover the total cost of a program or project at the time it is undertaken.


General Fund
Financial transactions relating to all governmental activities for which specific types of funds are not required are recorded in a General Fund. This fund is used for all receipts not dedicated for a specific purpose.
G.A.A.P. / Generally Accepted Accounting Principle
Detailed accounting standards and practices for state and local governments as prescribed by the Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB).
A statement of broad direction, purpose, or intent.
Governmental Funds
Funds through most governmental functions are financed. The fund types included in the category are general, special revenue, capital projects, debt service and special assessment funds.
Contributions of cash or other assets from another governmental agency to be used or expended for a specified purpose, activity, or facility.
Growth Management
State requirements related to development and its impact on public infrastructure.



Impact Fee
A fee charged on new development to finance required infrastructure such as roads, parks, schools, and fire facilities.
That portion of a city's assets located at or below ground level, including the water system, sewer system, and streets.
Interfund Transactions
Amounts distributed from one fund to finance activities in another fund. Shown as an expenditure in the originating fund and a revenue in the receiving fund.
Internal Service Fund
A fund which provides services to other city divisions and bills the various other funds for services rendered.
Investment Revenue
Revenue received as interest from the investment of funds not immediately required to meet cash disbursement obligations.




Legacy Standards
The casual reference name given to the complete package of revisions to the development standards to assure an elevated quality of new development as well as recognize the need to provide opportunity for new and innovative types of development
LEOFF / Law Enforcement Officers’ and Fire Fighters’ Retirement System
Law Enforcement Officers’ and Fire Fighters’ Retirement System.
Debt or other legal obligations arising out of transactions in the past which must be liquidated at some future date. This term does not include encumbrances.


Modified Accrual Accounting
The basis of accounting that recognizes the timing of resources and expenses as follows: Revenues are recognized when earned so long as they are collectible within the period or soon enough to be used to pay liabilities of the current period (measurable and available). Expenses are recognized when payment is due.


NPDES / National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System
The Clean Water Act prohibits an agency from discharging pollutants into the watershed unless they have an NPDES permit. The permit regulates what pollutants can be discharged from the treatment system, and at what concentrations.
Personnel eligible to receive overtime pay when overtime work has been authorized or requested by the supervisor.


Something worked toward, and listed in the budget as anticipated for accomplishment in the budget year.


PERS / Public Employees' Retirement System
Public Employees’ Retirement System
Proposed Budget
Financial and operating program prepared by the City’s administration, submitted to the public and the City Council for review.


R.C.W. / Revised Code of Washington
Revised Code of Washington which contains all laws of a general and permanent nature enacted by the State.
Replacement Cost
The cost of an asset which can render similar service (but which need not be the same structural form) as the property to be replaced.
An account used to indicate that a portion of fund resources is restricted for a specific purpose, or is not available for appropriation and subsequent spending.
All amounts of money received by a government from external sources other than expense refunds, capital contributions, and residual equity transfers.
Revised Budget
A balanced budget as revised and approved by the City Council.


Special Revenue Funds
Special Revenue Funds are established only for special tax levies and other dedicated revenues whenever required by statutes, charter provisions, or the terms under which revenue is dedicated.
SDC / System Development Charge
A fee charged on new development to finance required water, sewer, and drainage infrastructure.


Tax Rate
A percentage applied to all taxable property to raise general revenues. It is derived by dividing the total tax levy by the taxable net property valuation.
Compulsory charges levied by a government for the purpose of financing services performed for the common benefit.




W.A.C. / Washington Administrative Code
Laws adopted by State agencies to implement State Legislation.
Working Capital
Difference between current assets and current liabilities.