House Bill No. 319

Introduced By gillan

A Bill for an Act entitled: "An Act changing the date by which a local government using the local government alternative accounting method must have adopted a budget; amending section

7-6-604, MCA; and providing an immediate effective date."

WHEREAS, current law requires a local government that has adopted the local government alternative accounting method to complete the budget by July 1; and

WHEREAS, taxable valuation and beginning fiscal year cash balances, major components of a local government budget, are not usually determined by July 1; and

WHEREAS, taxable valuation is needed to determine mill levies, and the Department of Revenue does not usually provide this information until mid-July.

Be it enacted by the Legislature of the State of Montana:

Section 1.  Section 7-6-604, MCA, is amended to read:

"7-6-604.   Alternative accounting method -- requirements. A local government entity that adopts the alternative accounting method shall:

(1)  prepare its accounting records and financial reports in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles established by the governmental accounting standards board or its generally recognized successor;

(2)  adopt a fiscal year that commences on July 1 of each year;

(3)  (a) compile an annual financial report covering the preceding fiscal year and submit a copy of the annual financial report or an annual audit, pursuant to subsection (3)(b), to the department of commerce within 6 months of the end of that reported fiscal year; or

(b)  if the local government entity submits an audit report in lieu of an annual financial report, ensure that the audit report contains, at a minimum, the entity's general purpose financial statements and combining and individual fund and account group statements as defined under the principles described in subsection (1);

(4)  cause an annual audit in accordance with the provisions of Title 2, chapter 7, part 5; and

(5)  ensure that a budget is made each year that:

(a)  shows the complete expenditure program for the local government entity for the coming fiscal year and the sources by which it will be funded;

(b)  must be completed by July 1 on or before the second Monday in August of the current fiscal year;

(c)  must be approved or amended by the governing body in a regularly scheduled meeting;

(d)  must be the subject of one or more advertised public hearings, pursuant to the provisions of 7-1-2121 or 7-1-4127, prior to approval or amendment; and

(e)  must be submitted to the department of commerce by September 15."

NEW SECTION. Section 2.  Effective date. [This act] is effective on passage and approval.