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The detailed record of a particular asset, liability, owners' equity, revenue or expense.

Accrual Basis of Accounting (or Full Accrual):

Accounting method for proprietary funds that recognizes

revenues in the accounting period in which they are earned and recognizes expenses in the period incurred.

Ad Valorem Tax (or Property Tax):

Levied on real and personal property according to the property's valuation

and tax rate.


A legal authorization by City Council to incur obligations and make expenditures for specific


Assessed Value:

The value of real estate or personal property as determined by tax assessors and used as a

basis for levying taxes. (Note: Wake County establishes property values.)

Authorized Bond:

Bonds that have been legally approved but may or may not have been sold.

Balanced Budget:

Expenditures equal revenues. N.C. state statute requires the adoption of a balanced budget.

Base Budget:

Those resources necessary to meet an established and existing service level.

Bond Agency Fees:

Fees charged by bond agencies for services related to debt issuance.

Bond Covenant:

Provision in a bond or debt contract which require the debt issuer to meet certain standards or do

certain things.

Bond Rating:

Grade indicating a unit's investment qualities; ratings range from AAA (highest) to D (lowest). The

City of Raleigh maintains the highest investment ratings available from each of the rating agencies: Standard and

Poor’s, Moody’s, and Fitch.


A written promise to repay a specific amount of money with interest within a specific time period, usually


Budget Amendment:

A legal procedure used by the City staff and the City Council to revise a budget

appropriation or recognize new revenues and expenditures to amend the operating budget. Results in an overall

budget increase or decrease.

Budget Message:

A written overview of the proposed or adopted budget from the City Manager to the Mayor and

City Council that discusses the major budget items and changes and the City’s present and future financial


Budget Ordinance:

The official enactment by the City Council to establish legal authority for City officials to

obligate and expend resources.

Capital Expenditure (or outlay):

Expenditures that create future benefits, incurred when a business spends

money to buy fixed assets or to add to the value of existing fixed assets with a useful life that extends beyond one


Capital Improvement Program (CIP):

A multi-year plan for the construction or acquisition of major capital items.

Certificates of Participation (COPs):

A security created as a part of a lease-purchase agreement. The lender, the

holder of the certificate, owns a right to participate in periodic lease payments (interest and return of principal) as

they are paid.

City Council:

The governing board elected by districts and at large.

City Manager:

An individual appointed by the Mayor and City Council to serve as the chief administrative officer of

the City.


A budgetary reserve set aside for emergencies or unforeseen expenditures not otherwise budgeted.

Cost Allocations:

A process that shares the costs of a central service provider with the internal departments that

consume the service.