Budget Process

By June 30th each year, the council is required by state law to approve the budget for the coming fiscal year (July 1 - June 30). Staff begins estimating revenues and expenses for the coming year, and seeks public input beginning in January. Generally by May, the Manager has a draft budget complete for Council's review and public comment.

Revenues


Most of the town's revenues come from ad valorem (property) tax, and State-collected revenue, such as the state sales tax. These revenues make up the General Fund:
  • 46.1% Property Tax
  • 18.7% Sales Tax
  • 8.5% State Collected Revenue
  • 6.9% Solid Waste Fees
  • 6.5% Fund Balance/Reserve
  • 6.4% Development Fees
  • 4.8% County Revenue
  • 1.6% Program Fees
  • 0.3% Other Revenue
  • 0.2% Grants

Expenditures


All expenditures related to day-to-day operations of the town come from the General Fund. Capital projects, such as the construction of roads, parks, and other public facilities, are also budgeted with General Fund dollars. Any expenses related to the maintenance and operation of water, sewer, and electric services come not from the General Fund, but instead from their respective Utility Funds:
  • 41.1% Public Safety
  • 16.4% Public Works
  • 9.5% Community & Economic Development
  • 9.4% Parks & Recreation
  • 7.4% Internal Services
  • 7.2% Debt Service
  • 5.9% Administration
  • 3.2% All Other

Fund Balance


The town’s fund balance is much like a savings account, as compared to a household budget. If the town brings in more revenues than expected or spends less than the budgeted expenditures, then at the end of a budget year these differences, or extra funds, become part of this savings account that constitutes the fund balance. 

The North Carolina Local Government Commission requires all North Carolina municipalities to maintain at least 8% of 1 year's general fund operating expenses in their Fund Balance. The town’s policy is to maintain that ratio at 25% as a minimum.

Ratings


It is important to maintain a healthy fund balance. Bond Rating Agencies analyze a municipality’s practice of fund balance usage and adherence to their fund balance and other fiscal policies. These agencies have been quite pleased with Apex’s financial health: 
  • Standard and Poor’s rates Apex as AAA (the highest possible rating)
  • Moody's rating is Aa1, only 1 step down from AAA
These ratings allow the town to borrow money at the most favorable interest rates.