Budget Guide



This guide provides a brief overview of the City's budget document and defines its unique sections.

Paper versions of the budget documents are available for review in the Budget and Management Services Department located in the Municipal Building Room 311 at 222 W. Hargett Street weekdays from 8:15 a.m. until 5:15 p.m.

Other financial documents, including the Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) are prepared by the Finance Department.  More about Finance reports

How Your Tax Dollar is Spent

Each dollar paid in taxes is distributed to the following categories (approximate percentages):

  • 38% | Public Safety
  • 13% | Leisure Services
  • 12% | Engineering Services & Transportation
  • 11% | Appropriation To Capital Debt
  • 08% | General Government
  • 05% | Community Development Services
  • 04% | Information Technology
  • 03% | Solid Waste Services
  • 03% | Financial Management
  • 02% | Appropriation To Capital Program
  • 01% | External Agencies

The City of Raleigh consistently offers the lowest cost for municipal services in the Triangle and of any major city in North Carolina. Wake County compiles charts that compare municipal property taxes and fees as paid by a typical household. In order to deliver a high level of service at the lowest possible cost, the City continues to track indicators that measure its performance and cost effectiveness over time and against other local governments.

Credits and Table of Contents

Credits and Table of Contents provides information about the authors and contributors of the budget document as well as the page numbers of each section.


The Introduction includes the City Manager's message to the City Council, highlighting specific factors that have influenced the fiscal year's operating budget and the Capital Improvement Program (CIP) budget, as well as any major changes from the previous year. The Introduction further includes:

  • An explanation of the budget document purpose and factors that shape the City's budget process
  • A Budget Guide that explains how to read each departmental budget
  • A depiction of the area each Council member represents within the City and the City of Raleigh Mission Statement
  • A profile of the City of Raleigh, city statistics, and the City of Raleigh's organizational chart

Budget Summary

The Budget Summary provides an overview of the revenues and expenditures for the fiscal year through the use of pie charts and tables. Also included are an explanation of the Long Term Debt Program and an account of the City's historical and current fund balance. The Budget Summary provides a detailed account of the proposed number of positions for the fiscal year, as well as any personnel count and classification changes made during the budget development process.

Revenue Summary

The Revenue Summary provides the projected revenues for the fiscal year and an explanation of each revenue source.

Each department's budget for the fiscal year is provided in the Adopted Budget Document:

  • General Government includes the budgets of the City Council, City Clerk, City Attorney, City Manager, Budget and Management Services, Agency Appropriations, Finance, Information Technology, Human Resources, Communications, and Special Appropriations
  • Infrastructure and Public Services includes Community Development and associated federal and City programs, Community Engagement , Development Services, Inspections, Planning, Engineering Services (ES), Transportation (T),  T-Parking, T-Transit, ES-Stormwater, ES-Vehicle Fleet Services, and Solid Waste Services
  • Public Safety includes Police, Fire, and the Emergency Communications Center
  • Leisure Services includes Parks, Recreation and Cultural Resources (including the Arts Commission Office), the Revolving Fund, and the Raleigh Convention Center
  • Public Utilities provides treatment and distribution of the City's drinking water as well as the collection and treatment of wastewater
  • Other Funds includes the Convention Debt Service Fund, Economic Development Fund, General Debt Service Fund, Parking Debt Service Fund, Risk Management Fund, and Utilities Debt Service Fund

Capital Summary

The Capital Summary provides the budgeted amount for major public facility improvements from a number of capital funds.  This section also provides a description of each capital fund.

Sustainability Message

The Sustainability Message describes the Sustainability Initiative adopted by the City Council.  It also explains how each department is specifically working toward the City of Raleigh's goal to become a leading sustainable city.

Capital Improvement Program (CIP)

The Capital Improvement Program (CIP) is a ten-year financial plan that analyzes major facility needs, projects fiscal resources, establishes priorities, and develops schedules for the acquisition and construction of capital facilities.