Ahead of this year’s budget deliberations, the Seattle City Council is releasing a new tool, the Seattle Budget Dashboard, to make it easier to understand this year’s budget adjustments. It’s the newest of three tools we are updating this year to make the budget process more accessible and transparent.
The Budget Process: An Adjustment Year
The City of Seattle uses a two-year budgeting process. In the fall of every even-numbered year, the City adopts a budget for the upcoming year (year 1) and endorses a budget for the following year (year 2). For example, last year the City adopted a budget for 2023 (year 1) and endorsed a budget for 2024 (year 2).
Since the City has already endorsed a budget for 2024, this year’s budget cycle is expected to focus on adjusting that budget, rather than creating a brand-new budget plan. The mayor is scheduled to propose his adjustments to the 2024 budget tomorrow.
How to use the Seattle Budget Dashboard
The Seattle Budget Dashboard creates an easy way for people to learn about the budget proposals and compare how they differ. For example, right now you can compare the:
- 2023 Adopted Budget, approved by the City last year, and the
- 2024 Endorsed Budget, approved by the City last year.
In the coming days, we will add the Mayor’s 2024 Proposed Mid-Biennial Budget Adjustments. Farther down the line, we will also include the Council’s budget adjustments, once they are finalized.
Additionally, you can see how specific funds are distributed in each budget. For example, if you change the “Fund” selection to “General Fund,” you can see how the General Fund is distributed to each department.
You can view a tutorial video here.
These are just some of the ways to use this tool. If you have questions or run into problems, please contact email@example.com.
Other Budget Tools
This is the newest of three main tools maintained by the Seattle City Council to help make information about the budget process more accessible. The other two, which debuted last year, include:
- Demystifying the Council’s Budget Process:An interactive budget guide designed to help make the budget process easier to understand. It has details on the budget process, information about how people can get involved, and key dates.
- Understanding Council’s Budget Amendments: An interactive database that display every budget amendment Council members propose and tracks what action the Council takes on them.