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City of Raleigh

Introductory Section

Profile of City of Raleigh


aleigh is situated in the heart of the

State of North Carolina, in a section

called the Piedmont region, 150 miles

from the Atlantic Ocean and 190 miles

from the Great Smoky Mountains. The

City, the county seat of Wake County

and the capital of North Carolina, covers

an area of more than 180 square miles

and has an estimated population of

451,066. The City forms one point of

the Research Triangle Park developed

in 1959 for industrial, governmental and

scientific research, with Chapel Hill and

Durham at the other two points. The

City is located in a metropolitan area

consisting of Wake, Durham, Orange,

Franklin, Chatham and Johnston

counties. The population for this area is

estimated to be 1,787,000, which reflects

a 30.5% increase over the past ten years.

The North Carolina General Assembly purchased land for the original site of the City for the specific purpose

of being the capital of North Carolina. The City was established in 1792 by an act of the General Assembly

and has utilized a council-manager form of government since 1947. The Mayor and two Council members are

elected at-large, and the remaining five Council members are elected from five districts within the City. The Mayor

and Council members serve two-year terms and all have an equal vote. The City Council sets policies, enacts

ordinances and appoints the City Manager. The City Manager is responsible to the Council for the administration

of daily operations and programs of the City and management of all City employees.

The City provides the full range of governmental services, including police and fire protection, street construction

and maintenance, solid waste management, water and sanitary sewer services, parks, recreation and cultural

services, planning and development services, a variety of transportation and public works programs, and other

traditional support activities.

The City is empowered to levy a property tax on real and certain personal properties located within its boundaries.

Subject to various stipulations set by the North Carolina General Assembly, it is also empowered to extend its

corporate limits by annexation, which occurs periodically when deemed appropriate by the governing council.

The Annual Budget serves as the foundation of the City’s financial planning and control. The City Council is

required to hold public hearings on the proposed budget and to adopt a final budget no later than each June 30,

the close of the City’s fiscal year. The appropriated budget is prepared by fund, function (e.g., public safety), and

department (e.g., police). Department heads may approve budget transfers within a fund up to $10,000, while

transfers between $10,000 and $50,000 require approval from the City Manager. Transfers greater than $50,000

and transfers of appropriations between funds require approval of the City Council.

Five-Year Population Growth

Fiscal year figures as of June 30

* Figures represent estimates









2012 2013 2014 2015* 2016*