Just as a complete meal contains all the food groups, so a complete budget includes both expenditure and revenue projections. Here’s what New Hampshire Budget law has to say on the topic:
32:16 Duties and Authority of the Budget Committee. – In any town which has adopted the provisions of this subdivision, the budget committee shall have the following duties and responsibilities:
I. To prepare the budget as provided in RSA 32:5, and if authorized under RSA 40:14-b, a default budget under RSA 40:13, IX(b) for submission to each annual or special meeting of the voters of the municipality, and, if the municipality is a town, the budgets of any school district or village district wholly within the town, unless the warrant for such meeting does not propose any appropriation.
II. To confer with the governing body or bodies and with other officers, department heads and other officials, relative to estimated costs,revenues anticipated, and services performed to the extent deemed necessary by the budget committee. It shall be the duty of all such officers and other persons to furnish such pertinent information to the budget committee.
III. To conduct the public hearings required under RSA 32:5, I.
IV. To forward copies of the final budgets to the clerk or clerks, as required by RSA 32:5, VI, and, in addition, to deliver 2 copies of such budgets and recommendations upon special warrant articles to the respective governing body or bodies at least 20 days before the date set for the annual or special meeting, to be posted with the warrant.
Watch Mr. Stokinger, the district Business Administrator, lecture the Budget Committee on Dec. 11th because of a few who have the temerity to ask for a revenue budget while they deliberate expenditures. There is a direct relationship between revenue and expenditures. Expenditures can obviously be larger if anticipated revenue is also high as revenue offsets the tax impact of expenditures. Timberlane’s budget committee has had a standing practice of never looking at the revenue portion of the budget and it has been a matter of principle to ignore the tax impact of their expenditure decisions. Mrs. O’Neil expressed this back when I was on the Budget Committee. The job of the committee is to see that the schools have enough money to operate. The tax consequences are not the committee’s concern, nor should they be.
That was then. This is now.
The following morning, the SAU posted the revenue budget. Finally the spinach has been served.