Quick take

  • Decades of awards for city’s finance professionals
  • Council actions must take into account debt service
  • Council actions must be assessed for cost to taxpayers
  • Introduce participatory budgeting for residents

Key functions of the city’s finance experts

The city’s Finance Department is responsible for the following main functions:

  • Assessing – ensures the valuation of residential and commercial property.
  • Tax and Revenue Collection – collection of taxes, process motor vehicles registrations, cash receipts and timely deposits.
  • Accounting – conducts functions of cash management, establish and maintain internal controls, competitive purchasing, payroll, accounts payable and water/sewer and miscellaneous billing.
  • Purchasing – administers the city’s purchasing procedures in accordance with the City of Portsmouth Purchasing Manual, which ensures the efficient means for procurement of materials, supplies and equipment.

The Finance Department prepares and publishes the following key documents:

Long history of sound fiscal strategies, policies, and practices

When encouraged to do so, the city’s finance professionals have long excelled at their work. Portsmouth currently enjoys a AAA bond rating. For the fiscal year ending in June 2019, the city received -- for the 27th time -- the Government Finance Officers Association’s (GFOA) award for exceptional financial reporting. The GFOA recognized the quality of two key city publications: the CAFR and the PAFR reports. The GFOA noted that: “The Certificate of Achievement is the highest form of recognition in governmental accounting and financial reporting. It's attainment represents a significant accomplishment by a government and it's management.”

Learn more about finances

Property tax information and property value database:

Economic development

The role of the Economic Development Commission is to ensure continued economic prosperity and preservation of the qualities that attract and retain businesses in the community. The Commission makes recommendations to the City Council on a wide variety of issues related to economic development, including business development, public-private partnerships, maintenance and development of the commercial, industrial and central business districts, and business attraction programs. (9 members, 4-year terms)