The General Statutes also provide for balanced project ordinances for the life of projects, including both capital and
grant activities, which are expected to extend beyond the end of the fiscal year. The budgeted appropriations for
capital projects do not lapse until the completion of the project, while appropriations for funds that adopt annual
budgets lapse at the end of the fiscal year.
The City of Raleigh prepares and adopts an Annual Budget consisting of the Operating Budget and the Capital
Budget. The City further prepares a separate Capital Improvement Program (CIP), setting forth planned capital
investments over the ensuing five years. The first year of the CIP becomes the Capital Budget component of the
Annual Budget. What follows is a description of the process used in the preparation of these documents, including
a calendar of activities.
Operating Budget Process
The process begins in November with a staff workshop on budget preparation and distribution of the budget
manual. The workshop outlines the requirements of the budget process and specific areas of emphasis for the
In November and December, 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-January.
A pre-budget hearing is held in January to allow the public an opportunity to give input on the upcoming budget.
During February and March, Budget & Management Services (BMS) staff review and analyze the operating budget
requests with each department. Revenue forecasts are further refined during this period.
Once the budget staff review is finalized, executive work budgets are prepared for the City Manager’s review. From
February through mid-April, the City Manager reviews the work budgets, meets with departments, considers
available revenues and reaches decisions necessary to prepare a proposed budget. During this time, the Council
holds work sessions at which the City Manager or his designee from various departments presents additional
information to Council, prior to the formalized proposed budget. Work sessions allow Council to become more
familiar with the scope and operations of departments and the needs of the community and serve to facilitate
discussion between Council and department staff.
In May, the City Manager presents the 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 30, 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 in the evening on the first Tuesday in June. On or prior to July 1,
the City Council adopts the five-year Capital Improvement Plan, the final budget ordinance with balanced revenues and
penditures and sets the tax rate for the next fiscal year.
Capital Budget and Capital Improvement Program (CIP) Process
A separate Capital Improvement Program (CIP) is prepared each year containing the expenditures and funding
sources planned for capital projects over the upcoming five-year period. As noted above, the first year of the CIP is
the Capital Budget component of the Annual Budget and provides appropriation authority for capital projects.
Projects included in the CIP are generally defined as physical assets with a useful life of at least ten years and an
initial cost of at least $25,000. Vehicles and heavy equipment (funded through the Operating Budget) are excluded.
New building construction funding includes additional equipment directly associated with the building. Examples of
capital projects include new roads, park land acquisition and development and waste treatment plant
The CIP is updated annually as projects are added, deleted and modified. Funding sources are reviewed and
updated and a feasible funding plan, matching project requirements and available funding sources is prepared. The
full five year plan is balanced with anticipated funding sources. This process begins in November when
instructions and guidelines are issued to departments, and proposed projects are submitted to the BMS in January.