Descriptions of Budget Documents and Terms

Budget Documents:

Annual Appropriations Ordinance (AAO) – The piece of legislation adopted after the Board of Supervisors reviews and amends the Mayor’s Proposed Budget that enacts the annual budget.

Annual Salary Ordinance (ASO) – The piece of legislation that grants departments the authority to fill a specified number of positions during the fiscal year. Note that this is not the same as having the funding to fill that number of positions. The ASO is passed at the same time as the AAO.

Budget Book – A resource that documents and explains the Mayor’s Proposed Budget for the general public.

Mayor’s Proposed Budget – The citywide budget submitted to the Board of Supervisors by the Mayor’s Office, on May 1st for selected Enterprise and General Fund departments and June 1st for all remaining departments, that makes recommendations and estimates for the City’s financial operations for the ensuing fiscal year.

Five-Year Financial Plan - The City’s Five Year Financial Plan forecasts expenditures and revenues during the five-year period, proposes actions to balance revenues and expenditures during each year of the plan, and discusses strategic goals and corresponding resources for city departments. The Plan is published each odd calendar year by the Controller’s Office, the Mayor’s Office of Public Policy and Finance, and the Board of Supervisors’ Budget and Legislative Analyst. In even calendar years, the Five Year Financial Plan Update, commonly known as the Joint Report, is issued.

Other Budget Terminology:

Enterprise Department – A department that does not require a General Fund subsidy because it generates its own revenues by charging a fee for service.

Fiscal Year – The twelve-month budget cycle. San Francisco's fiscal year runs from July 1st to June 30th.

General Fund – The largest of the City’s funds, the General Fund is a source for discretionary spending and funds many of the basic municipal services such as public safety, health and human services, and public works. Primary revenue sources include local taxes such as property, sales, payroll, and other taxes.

Two-Year Budgeting – The citywide process of budgeting each year for the next two fiscal years.