How does the county budget work?

Each year, state law requires the Orange County Board of Commissioners to adopt a balanced, annual budget by June 30. The process begins in the spring, when each county department submits to the county manager a budget request for the next fiscal year. The county manager, in consultation with budget and finance staff, reviews the departmental proposals and compiles an overall county budget that is submitted to the Board of Commissioners in early May. The BOCC holds a series of public hearings and budget work sessions to review each proposal and the projected revenues to determine the final county budget.

Most of a county's budget pays for services that are mandated by either the state or federal governments. Below is a list of services that counties must provide for residents as mandated by the state:

  • Elections
  • Building Code Enforcement
  • Jail
  • Social Services
  • Register of Deeds
  • Courts
  • Public Health
  • Mental Health
  • Public Schools
  • Property Assessment
  • Community Colleges
  • Emergency Medical Services
  • Emergency Management

Orange County also provides many non-mandated services, such as Parks and Recreation, the Public Library, Solid Waste Management, Public Transportation, Economic Development, etc. The county is not required to offer these kinds of services, but opts to do so to improve the quality of life for the county.

Show All Answers

1. How does the county budget work?
2. Why does the BOCC provide so much funding to public schools? Isn't that the state's job?
3. How much influence does the Board of Commissioners wield with school budgets?
4. Why are you always raising taxes?
5. How will you spend revenue from the 1/4 cent increase for climate change?
6. Instead of climate change, why doesn't the Board do more to eliminate poverty?
7. What role do the commissioners play in the budget?
8. Why doesn't the county attract more commercial development to reduce the burden on personal property owners?
9. Can the public get involved?