The Budget Process is composed of five phases that take place throughout the fiscal year: Planning, Developing, Approval, Monitoring, and External Audit (see Finance Division).
Planning (September - December)
The budget process begins in September with the adoption of a Budget Calendar by County Council. The calendar identifies important dates and milestones.
In January of each year budget meetings with departments that provide services begin. Budget training is held for departments to guide the departments through the upcoming budget process.
Developing (January - February)
Departments prepare their budget requests, in February, for analysis and review. Acting on preliminary recommendations from the Chief Financial Officer’s review, final proposals are made by the County Administrator in May.
Approval (March - June)
Budget Workshops are held in March, April, May and June for County Council to review the Administrator’s Proposed Budget and makes any changes they deem necessary.
The County Council Approved Budget for the coming fiscal year is adopted by June 30th of the current year. South Carolina law requires a public hearing and three separate readings (votes) of the budget ordinance by County Council.
Monitoring and Adjustments
During the fiscal year, both the Business Services Department and the County Administrator's Office perform monthly reviews of revenues, expenditures, and interfund transfers.
If budget adjustments are necessary, the head of the department may transfer funds within the “Operating” or “Capital” categories if approved by the County Administrator. The County Administrator is permitted, when it is in the best interest of the individual County departments or agencies, to transfer appropriations between departments (from one department to another department). In addition, County Council only, may approve budget transfers from the “Personnel” category to operating and/or capital categories.