The Budget Process
The process of adopting a budget for NC counties (and municipalities as well) is closely regulated by the State of NC [Local Government Budget and Fiscal Control Act]. Per State law[NCGS 159-9], the County Manager acts as the budget officer for the county and is required to submit a recommended budget to the Board of Commissioners and the public prior to June 1st[NCGS159-11] of each calendar year. Pursuant to State law, the manager (as budget officer) is required to submit a balanced budget unless specific action is taken by the Board authorizing presentation of an unbalanced budget[NCGS159-11(c)].
Copies of the proposed budget are required to be made available for public inspection and review[NCGS159-12]. Alamance County has these available in the Clerk’s Office and in the Finance Department. We also try to go beyond the minimum requirements and get copies out to locations like our public libraries and we make the recommended budgets available here on the web site.
After the proposed budget is made available, the County is required to publish notice of its availability and we are required to hold a public hearing[NCGS159-12] on the proposed budget.
At any point after the public hearing is held, the Board of Commissioners can adopt the budget. They are required to do so by July 1st[NCGS159-13]. If they are unable to do so by July 1st, they must adopt an interim budget to cover at least through the point in time they think they will have an annual budget adopted.