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Municipal spending and revenue sources are both authorized and planned out in the form of a city budget. A city budget is an annual detailing of the municipal fiscal policy, which means that any money spent or raised must be laid out in that document. Beyond simple revenues and expenditures it also highlights any program goals the city has decided on, changes in financial procedures, and any particular foreseen details pertinent to the functioning of the city for the upcoming fiscal year.

The actual structure of the budget is up to the city's legislative body, but it must be approved via ordinance. (For more information on this see “Budgetary Process” in related topics.)  Some cities (typically with higher revenues) will separate capital and operating expenditures into separate budgets much like the state budget model, but such a structure is not required.

Kentucky cities must adopt a budget in which the appropriations do not exceed the revenue within the fiscal year.  The fiscal year for cities runs July 1 through June 30.