The Budget Process
In accordance with North Carolina law, the Sampson County Board of Commissioners annually adopts a balanced budget which reflects the local government’s anticipated operational expenditures for the upcoming fiscal year and the revenues which will support such expenditures. The County’s fiscal year begins on July 1, so the budget process typically begins with a commissioners planning session in February. This session allows the Board to review and evaluate programs and services, to discuss economic conditions or legislative actions which may impact the budget, and to set expenditure priorities. County departments and partner agencies are then tasked with developing their departmental budgets for submission to the Finance Officer, typically by March. These budgets are then compiled, reviewed by Finance and Administration staff, and a draft budget is prepared and presented by the County Manager, who is the County’s Budget Officer, to the Board of Commissioners in a public meeting no later than June 1.
Once the draft budget is presented to the Board, a copy is filed for public inspection with the Clerk to the Board, who publishes notice of its filing and the date for a public hearing at which citizens have the opportunity to comment on the County’s budgetary planning. The County also receives comments on the proposed budget by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. After the required public hearing, the Board may adopt the recommended budget as presented (if ten days has passed since its presentation to the Board), or they may hold additional meetings for its review and amendment. The budget is finally enacted by adoption of a budget ordinance, which should occur by June 30. Such ordinance includes the revenues and expenditures by fund and the property tax rate to be levied.
The budget for FY 2017-2018 is available for review here.
Previous county budgets are also available:
North Carolina law requires that the County have its accounts audited by independent auditors after the close of each fiscal year. The annual financial report includes “financial statements prepared in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles, all disclosures in the public interest required by law, and the auditor’s opinion and comments related to the financial statements.” Auditors generally offer whether or not they determine the financial statements and disclosures are accurate and reliable and comply with generally accepted accounting procedures; they may offer suggestions for improving internal controls and financial procedures. Annual financial reports are submitted for review to the North Carolina Local Government Commission and then presented in a public meeting to the Board of Commissioners. The county may also prepare a more comprehensive annual financial report that contains three sections: introductory, financial and statistical. These financial reports provide county management and citizens, as well as bond rating agencies, valuable information on the financial condition of county government.
Financial Reports Available for Review:
- Annual Audit for the Fiscal Year Ending June 30, 2017
- Annual Audit for the Fiscal Year Ending June 30, 2016
- Annual Audit for the Fiscal Year Ending June 30, 2015
- Annual Audit for the Fiscal Year Ending June 30, 2014
- Annual Audit for the Fiscal Year Ending June 30, 2013
- Annual Audit for the Fiscal Year Ending June 30, 2012
- Comprehensive Annual Financial Report for the Fiscal Year Ending June 30, 2011
- Comprehensive Annual Financial Report for the Fiscal Year Ending June 30, 2010
- Comprehensive Annual Financial Report for the Fiscal Year Ending June 30, 2009
- Comprehensive Annual Financial Report for the Fiscal Year Ending June 30, 2008