Travis County’s budgeting guidelines, set a basic framework for
the overall fiscal management of the County. These guidelines assist the decision‐making
process of the Commissioners Court.
Most of the guidelines represent long‐standing principles, traditions and practices which have
guided the County in the past and have helped maintain financial stability over many years.
General Budget Guidelines
Planning Before Budgeting The Commissioners Court wishes to ensure that formal planning occurs before funds are
requested or allocated. Departments are encouraged to collaborate with the Commissioners
Court on the development of plans for future operations. The Court wishes to have a Court
approved plan before any new programs or services are considered for funding.
Departmental Budget Requests Should projected economic conditions show an immediate negative impact on the County’s
ability to meet its financial goals and standards, then the Planning and Budget Office may ask
departments to submit budgets that are less than the department’s Current Funding Level. In
that event, then the departments should outline the impact on the department’s performance
measures of such a reduction in resources.
Annualizing the Cost of New Positions and Programs When new positions or programs are added to the budget, they will be budgeted on an annual
basis. This will avoid having the County’s budget automatically increase in subsequent years for
such positions or programs.
Capital Planning The County encourages departments to submit three to five year capital plans for approval by
the Commissioners Court. Approved plans shall be given priority during the annual budget
County-Wide Issues The Commissioners Court intends to fund countywide issues before committing resources for
specific departmental programs. Such issues include:
Legally mandated requirements;
Issues that have such a substantial impact on the community that they must be
Funding needs that affect every County department such as performance pay or other
compensation needs or employee benefits; and
Needs that impact the County’s fiscal strength such as reserves.
Mid-Year Budget Increases Departmental budget increases proposed after the beginning of the fiscal year will be
considered for funding if the Commissioners Court indicated during the budget
mark‐up process that the proposal was not yet fully developed and should be considered for
funding from Allocated Reserves. Otherwise, such a funding proposal must meet the following
criteria: It is of an emergency nature, funding cannot be identified internally, and it cannot be
delayed until the next fiscal year without a very significant negative impact on the public.
Matching Funds to Expenditures The goal of the Commissioners Court is to have funds expended for their intended use in a
timely fashion and to match the schedule of funding both operating and capital needs as closely
as possible to the expected expenditure pattern, being mindful of meeting the financial goals
described in these guidelines. The Court wishes to schedule the actual inflow of public tax
dollars to the County in direct relationship to the outflow of projected expenditures for all