Website home about our city

Budgeting for Outcomes

What is it?

  • A budget process designed to create a government that works better and costs less.
  • It's based on the premise that the percentage of personal income the public is willing to pay for their government through taxes, fees, and charges is fixed.
  • While the "price of government" is fixed, the cost of providing services is increasing.
  • Budgeting for Outcomes focuses on results and priorities, not on cost.  The budget process shifts from paying for costs to buying results.
  • It puts citizens and their priorities, not status quo, first.
  • It emphasizes accountability, innovation and partnerships.

Why are we doing it?

  • The Fort Collins economy is changing -  the times of rapid, double-digit revenue growth are over.
  • The old system didn't work - the short term approach of spending down reserves, freezing employee wages, and not filling vacant positions is not sustainable; that approach only leads to mediocrity.
  • Budgeting for Outcomes better aligns the services delivered by City of Fort Collins with the things that are most important to our community.

How does it work?

  • The budget consists of a collection of purchasing decisions.  Teams play a critical role in guiding the process, ranking and recommending purchasing proposals.
  • City Council, on behalf of the citizens, will set the price that community members are willing to pay for local government services.
  • Council, using citizen input, determines the desired community outcomes.
  • A staff Leadership Team determines the priorities for meeting those outcomes and allocates dollars.
  • Staff Results Teams develop purchasing plans and requests for results (RFR's) for each priority.  This involves creating a map of the factors that lead to or impact the result. 
  • Service providers, or sellers, (which could be a cross section of departments, work teams, partnerships, etc. . .) make offers.
  • Results Teams rank offers; buying process starts at top of ranked proposals and moves down the list, buying according to priority until available funds are spent.  A line is drawn at this point, with all proposals above the line in, and the rest out.
  • Proposals that rank within available resources are used to prepare budget.
  • Final output is a budget that reflects citizen priorities and delivers service efficiently.

2015-2016 Budget

We are seeking your input on which Enhancement Offers (aka Budget Requests) you most support and which ones you least support. Please visit to help shape the future of Fort Collins.