ORS 294.311¹
Definitions for ORS 294.305 to 294.565

As used in ORS 294.305 (Sections constituting Local Budget Law) to 294.565 (Failure to file copy of required budget, reports or other documents), unless the context requires otherwise:

(1) “Accrual basis” means the recording of the financial effects on a municipal corporation of transactions and other events and circumstances that have cash consequences for the municipal corporation in the periods in which those transactions, events and circumstances occur, rather than only in the periods in which cash is received or paid by the municipal corporation.

(2) “Activity” means a specific and distinguishable service performed by one or more organizational components of a municipal corporation to accomplish a function for which the municipal corporation is responsible.

(3) “Appropriation” means an authorization granted by the governing body to make expenditures and to incur obligations for specific purposes. An appropriation is limited to a single fiscal year for municipal corporations preparing annual budgets, or to the budget period for municipal corporations preparing biennial budgets.

(4) “Basis of accounting” means the cash basis, the modified accrual basis or the accrual basis.

(5) “Budget” means a plan of financial operation embodying an estimate of expenditures for a given period or purpose and the proposed means of financing the estimated expenditures.

(6) “Budget document” means the estimates of expenditures and budget resources as set forth on the estimate sheets, tax levy and the financial summary.

(7) “Budget period” means, for municipal corporations with the power to levy a tax upon property, the two-year period commencing on July 1 and closing on June 30 of the second calendar year next following, and for all other municipal corporations, an accounting period of 24 months ending on the last day of any month.

(8) “Budget resources” means resources to which recourse can be had to meet obligations and expenditures during the fiscal year or budget period covered by the budget.

(9) “Cash basis” means a basis of accounting under which transactions are recognized only in the period during which cash is received or disbursed.

(10) “Current budget period” means the budget period in progress.

(11) “Current year” means the fiscal year in progress.

(12) “Encumbrance accounting” means the method of accounting under which outstanding encumbrances are recognized as reductions of appropriations and the related commitments are carried in a reserve for encumbrances until liquidated, either by replacement with an actual liability or by cancellation. This method of accounting may be used as a modification to the accrual basis of accounting in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles.

(13) “Encumbrances” means obligations in the form of purchase orders, contracts or salary commitments which are chargeable to an appropriation and for which a part of the appropriation is reserved. Obligations cease to be encumbrances when paid or when the actual liability is set up.

(14) “Ensuing budget period” means the budget period following the current budget period.

(15) “Ensuing year” means the fiscal year following the current year.

(16) “Expenditure” means, if the accounts are kept on the accrual basis or the modified accrual basis, decreases in net financial resources and may include encumbrances. If the accounts are kept on the cash basis, the term covers only actual disbursement, the drawing of the check or warrant for these purposes and not encumbrances, except that deferred employee compensation shall be included as a personnel service expenditure where an approved deferred employee compensation plan is in effect for a municipal corporation.

(17) “Fiscal year” means for municipal corporations with the power to impose ad valorem property taxes, the fiscal year commencing on July 1 and closing on June 30, and for all other municipal corporations, an accounting period of 12 months ending on the last day of any month.

(18) “Fund balance” means the excess of the assets of a fund over its liabilities and reserves except in the case of funds subject to budgetary accounting where, prior to the end of a fiscal period, it represents the excess of the fund’s assets and estimated revenues for the period over its liabilities, reserves and appropriations for the period.

(19) “General county resources” means resources from property taxes, state and federal shared revenue, beginning balances available for expenditure and interest not required to be allocated to specific programs or activities.

(20) “Governing body” means the city council, board of commissioners, board of directors, county court or other managing board of a municipal corporation including a board managing a municipally owned public utility or a dock commission.

(21) “Grant” means a donation or contribution of cash to a governmental unit by a third party.

(22) “Intergovernmental entity” means an entity created under ORS 190.010 (Authority of local governments to make intergovernmental agreement) (5). The term includes any council of governments created prior to the enactment of ORS 190.010 (Authority of local governments to make intergovernmental agreement) (5).

(23) “Internal service fund” means a fund properly authorized to finance, on a cost reimbursement basis, goods or services provided by one organizational unit of a municipal corporation to other organizational units of the municipal corporation.

(24) “Liabilities” means probable future sacrifices of economic benefits, arising from present obligations of a municipal corporation to transfer assets or provide services to other entities in the future as a result of past transactions or events. The term does not include encumbrances.

(25)(a) “Modified accrual basis” means the accrual basis of accounting adapted to the governmental fund-type measurement focus. Under this basis of accounting, revenues and other financial resource increments, such as bond proceeds, are recognized when they become susceptible to accrual, that is, when they become both measurable and available to finance expenditures in the current period.

(b) As used in this subsection, “available” means collectible in the current period or soon enough thereafter to be used to pay liabilities of the current period. Under this basis of accounting, expenditures are recognized when the fund liability is incurred except for:

(A) Inventories of material and supplies that may be considered expenditures either when purchased or when used; and

(B) Prepaid insurance and similar items that may be considered expenditures either when paid for or when consumed.

(26) “Municipal corporation” means any county, city, port, school district, union high school district, community college district and all other public or quasi-public corporations including a municipal utility or dock commission operated by a separate board or commission. “Municipal corporation” includes an intergovernmental entity or council of governments that proposes to impose or imposes ad valorem property taxes.

(27) “Net working capital” means the sum of the cash, cash equivalents, investments, accounts receivable expected to be converted to cash during the ensuing year or ensuing budget period, inventories, supplies and prepaid expenses less current liabilities and, if encumbrance accounting is adopted, reserve for encumbrances. The term is not applicable to the cash basis of accounting.

(28) “Object” means, as used in expenditure classification, articles purchased including, but not limited to, land, buildings, equipment and vehicles, or services obtained including, but not limited to, administrative services, clerical services, professional services, property services and travel, as distinguished from the results obtained from expenditures.

(29) “Object classification” means a grouping of expenditures on the basis of goods or services purchased, including, but not limited to, personnel services, materials, supplies and equipment.

(30) “Operating taxes” has the meaning given that term in ORS 310.055 (Operating taxes).

(31) “Organizational unit” means any administrative subdivision of a municipal corporation, especially one charged with carrying on one or more functions or activities.

(32) “Population” means the number of inhabitants of a municipal corporation according to certified estimates of population made by Portland State University.

(33) “Program” means a group of related activities aimed at accomplishing a major service or function for which the municipality is responsible.

(34) “Public utility” means those public utility operations authorized by ORS chapter 225.

(35) “Publish” or “publication” means any one or more of the following methods of giving notice or making information or documents available to members of the general public:

(a) Publication in one or more newspapers of general circulation within the jurisdictional boundaries of the municipal corporation.

(b) Posting through the United States Postal Service by first class mail, postage prepaid, to each street address within the jurisdictional boundaries of the municipal corporation and to each post office box and rural route number belonging to a resident within the jurisdictional boundaries of the municipal corporation.

(c) Hand delivery to each street address within the jurisdictional boundaries of the municipal corporation.

(d) In the case of publishing notice for an election involving a local option tax measure or a general obligation bond measure, filing with the Secretary of State for publication on the electronic filing system adopted under ORS 260.057 (Electronic campaign finance filing system).

(36) “Receipts” means cash received unless otherwise qualified.

(37) “Reserve for encumbrances” means a reserve representing the segregation of a portion of a fund balance to provide for unliquidated encumbrances.

(38) “Revenue” means the gross receipts and receivables of a governmental unit derived from taxes, licenses, fees and from all other sources, but excluding appropriations, allotments and return of principal from investment of surplus funds.

(39) “Special revenue fund” means a fund properly authorized and used to finance particular activities from the receipts of specific taxes or other revenues. [1963 c.576 §3; 1971 c.513 §55; 1975 c.319 §2; 1977 c.102 §4; 1977 c.305 §1; 1979 c.686 §1; 1997 c.308 §3; 1997 c.541 §322; 1999 c.632 §1; 2001 c.104 §102; 2001 c.135 §3; 2003 c.235 §1; 2009 c.477 §4; 2011 c.473 §27; 2013 c.768 §106h; 2017 c.552 §1]

Atty. Gen. Opinions

Distribu­tion of earnings from invest­ment of money in the custody of the county treasurer, (1971) Vol 35, p 1020; Local Budget Law applica­tion to Metropolitan Wastewa­ter Manage­ment Commission, (1979) Vol 39, p 546

Notes of Decisions

Tax court properly invalidated sanitary authority’s proposed tax where authority had sufficient federal grant and other funds available to meet pay­ments due on its bonds without tax. Bashaw, Dept. of Rev. v. Bear Creek Valley San. Auth., 287 Or 113, 597 P2d 822 (1979)

Atty. Gen. Opinions

Budgeting deferred compensa­tion assets and liabilities, (1976) Vol 37, p 1284; exclusion of municipal financial activities with respect to urban renewal agency projects, (1977) Vol 38, p 1062

1 Legislative Counsel Committee, CHAPTER 294—County and Municipal Financial Administration, https://­www.­oregonlegislature.­gov/­bills_laws/­ors/­ors294.­html (2019) (last ac­cessed May 16, 2020).
2 Legislative Counsel Committee, Annotations to the Oregon Revised Stat­utes, Cumulative Supplement - 2019, Chapter 294, https://­www.­oregonlegislature.­gov/­bills_laws/­ors/­ano294.­html (2019) (last ac­cessed May 16, 2020).
3 OregonLaws.org assembles these lists by analyzing references between Sections. Each listed item refers back to the current Section in its own text. The result reveals relationships in the code that may not have otherwise been apparent. Currency Information