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Each year Kentucky cities spend billions of dollars on goods and services. These expenditures typically fall into one of two categories: general functions and enterprise functions.  In FY 2017, combined expenditures of all cities totalled over $5.25 billion.  Over 44 percent of that total was for enterprise functions such as utilities.  Other broad spending categories include general government, public safety, public services, and community services.

Public funds may only be appropriated for public purposes, though city officials have considerable flexibility in allocating resources for the benefit of the community.  Expenditures can only be made in accordance with the city’s annual budget ordinance.