The annual budget serves as the foundation for the County’s financial planning and control. Chapter 159 of the NC General Statutes prescribes a uniform system of budget adoption, administration and fiscal control. All agencies of the County are required to submit requests for appropriation to the County Manager by the end of February each year. The County Manager uses these requests as the starting point for developing a proposed budget. The budget is prepared by fund, function (e.g., public safety), and department (e.g., Sheriff). Not later than July 1, the Board of Commissioners is required to adopt a budget ordinance making appropriations and levying taxes for the budget year in such sums as the Board may consider sufficient and proper, whether greater or less than the sums recommended in the proposed budget. The budget ordinance authorizes all financial transactions of the County except:
- Those authorized by a project ordinance;
- Those accounted for in an intra-governmental service fund for which a financial plan is prepared and approved;
- Those accounted for in a trust or agency fund established to account for moneys held by the local government or public authority as an agent or common-law trustee or to account for a retirement, pension, or similar employee benefit system.
Therefore, budgets are adopted for the General Fund, Landfill Fund, Arena and Events Center Fund, 911 Emergency Telephone Fund, Workers Compensation and Liability Fund, and Health and Dental Insurance Fund. Those funds listed above that are not budgeted annually are included in the audited financial statements of the County.