The Budget Process
The budget preparation process begins in January with a workshop for City departments on budget preparation and the distribution of the budget manual. This workshop outlines the requirements of the budget process and specific areas of emphasis for the upcoming budget.
In February and March, City departments prepare their operating budget requests for the next fiscal year. Departments are encouraged to conduct a thorough review and evaluation of their organizational structure and current and proposed programs. Departmental operating budgets are submitted in mid-March.
Once the budget staff review is finalized, executive work budgets are prepared for the City Manager's review. From mid-March to mid-April, the City Manager reviews the departmental requests. The City Manager then prepares a proposed capital improvement budget and an annual operating budget for City Council consideration.
The North Carolina Local Government Budget and Fiscal Control Act requires each local government to operate under an annual balanced budget ordinance.
From mid-April to mid-May, the City Manager and staff meet with the following sub-committees; Finance, Public Safety, Public Works, Water & Wastewater and Cultural / Recreational. At the regular meeting in May, the City Manager presents his proposed budget to the City Council. A public presentation is made before the City Council, staff, members of the press, and interested citizens. As required by the Budget and Fiscal Control Act, a copy of the Proposed Budget is filed with the City Clerk and made available for public inspection. Through June, the City Council meets to review and discuss the Proposed Budget.
In accordance with the Budget and Fiscal Control Act, the City Council holds a public hearing on the Proposed Budget prior to the adoption of the budget ordinance, generally at the regular meeting in May. On or prior to July 1, the City Council adopts the 5-year Capital Improvement Plan, the final budget ordinance with balanced revenues and expenditures, and sets the tax rate for the next fiscal year.
During the month of July, budget staff prepare and distribute the Adopted Budget document, which incorporates all of the changes approved by the City Council. During the month of July, the City Manager provides information to departments setting time schedules and priorities for the purchase of equipment and the implementation of new programs or initiatives.