A Budget Guide for Georgia’s Municipalities


The Georgia Municipal Association (GMA) is pleased to provide this second edition of its Budget Guide for Georgia’s Municipalities. This publication has been prepared for municipal officials as a practical guide to the budget process. It includes definitions of budgeting terms, an explanation of the roles of stakeholders in the budget process, and a step-by-step guide to developing a municipal budget. The laws, regulations, and principles that guide the budget process are also defined and explained in this guide. Finally, the guide includes numerous examples of forms, charts, and graphs that can be duplicated by most cities as they develop their budget documents.

This edition of GMA’s Budget Guide is the result of a collaborative effort among GMA staff including Pam Helton, Director of Member Services; Kay Love, Managing Director, Georgia City Solutions; Terrell Jacobs, Member Services Consultant and Becky Taylor, Director of Federal Relations and Research. Additionally, we thank Sam Knell, undergraduate student at the University of Georgia, for his help drafting and editing this publication while serving as GMA’s Research Intern during the 2019 Spring semester, and Nic Mathews, MPA student at Georgia Southern University, who provided additional assistance editing the document. Finally, we are indebted to Holger Loewendorf, Research Manager, who managed the compilation of the online version of this publication and served as its primary editor.

Larry H. Hanson
Executive Director