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Each year Kentucky cities spend billions of dollars on goods and services. These expenditures typically fall into one of two categories: general functions or enterprise functions. In FY 2021, combined expenditures of all cities totalled nearly $6.54 billion. About 44% of that total represented enterprise functions such as utilities. Other broad spending categories include general government, public safety, public services, community services, and benefits.

Public funds may only be appropriated for public purposes, though city officials have considerable flexibility in allocating resources for the benefit of the community. Expenditures can only be made in accordance with the city’s annual budget ordinance.