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Priority Based Budget

Priority Based Budget

Budgets Guided by Community Values

Priority Based Budgeting (PBB) is a process used by cities to understand their larger community values, and budget accordingly to those values, while providing flexibility in order to meet the changing needs of the community. The PBB approach will help us develop a strategic budget that both reflects our community values and ensures that residents will continue to receive a high level of city services.


The first step in implementing PBB is to identify the city's goals --or "results"-- which serve as high-level, overarching objectives for the city organization and are representative of the community priorities. Results should:

  • Be clear, understandable and measurable;
  • Reflect the objectives and priorities of council and the community;
  • Accommodate potentially diverse views;
  • Incorporate majority as well as minority opinions; and,
  • Be definable.

PBB will help us define our priority objectives and create a budget based on achieving those objectives. Based on existing council goals, the following results have been identified:

  • Accessible and connected community
  • Economically vital community
  • Healthy environment and community
  • Inclusive and socially thriving community
  • Safe community

What's Already Happened

Following the establishment of the city's results, two separate public meetings were held to inform the public about the new budgeting process and engage the community in identifying result definitions. Based on the feedback received at the public meetings, the draft result definitions have been revised.

The city would like your feedback on these “results.” Next steps will include prioritizing program based on these “results.”  It is important that all voices in the community are heard on the Priority Based Budgeting process. Before providing input, please take a moment to familiarize yourself with the citywide results and their definitions. The results and their definitions were developed collaboratively between City Council, city staff and community members.

Share Your Cost Savings Ideas

The City of Boulder plans to supplement the Priority Based Budgeting process by seeking opportunities to improve efficiencies throughout the organization. The city adopted and implemented several employee and community cost savings recommendations from previous budget years, including reducing energy costs and centralizing administrative functions. Please use the link below to provide budget saving ideas for the city.  Your input and ideas will help the city maximize its limited resources.