Financial Transparency & Community Engagement

The Town of Los Gatos produces many comprehensive documents and reports throughout the year; however, the Town’s Annual Operating Budget and the Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) are the most important documents to understand the Town’s finances.  The Operating Budget is a plan for a future fiscal period, typically one year, primarily identifying how tax revenue will be allocated to provide municipal services.  The CAFR contains the actual results of the prior year’s financial activities.

After a public hearing and receiving comments, the Town Council adopts the Budget which reflects the goals, policies, and civic priorities for the Los Gatos community.  The Budget documents anticipated revenues, and a plan for spending and investing those revenues towards Town services, incorporating both fiscal and programmatic policy decisions.  The Los Gatos Budget also contains performance measurements that compare the expected service delivery to prior years.  The annual budget process enables the Town Council to consider changing conditions and input from the community. 

A CAFR is a set of financial statements for a governmental entity that comply with the accounting requirements established by the Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB).  It must be audited by an independent auditor using generally accepted government auditing standards.

The information contained in these reports explains the municipal services currently being provided and the fiscal realities associated with the provision of those services.  The Town welcomes our residents to familiarize themselves with Town finances and services and become engaged during the budget development process.  The draft Operating Budget is available in early/mid-May and the annual Budget hearing is held on the fourth Tuesday of May.

In order to better inform its residents, the Town has developed individual webpages dedicated to specific elements of the finances of the Town.  These webpages include:

The Town explored new approaches to engage the community for FY 2020/21 and launched a survey regarding the annual budget process.  Thank you to those who provided their input on budget priorities for the Town by completing the survey. The survey was open from January 14, 2020 through June 3, 2020 and asked how the public would appropriate an additional $1 million toward the following services/issues.  Below is the question posed and the results.

Q: Imagine that the Town of Los Gatos has a surplus of $1 million in this year’s budget.  Where would you allocate the funds?  Please rank the choices below in order of highest to lowest priority. 

Budget Survey Results

Ranking Order Results Received:
1. Bicycle and Pedestrian Improvements (4.90)
2. Pavement Improvements (4.80)
3. Park Improvements (4.60)
4. Police Services (4.38)
5. Unfunded Pension Liabilities (3.69)
6. Additional Library Programming and/or Materials (3.67)
7. Public Art Projects (2.26)

If you have any questions, please contact manager@losgatosca.gov.