BTC POLICY BASIC: North Carolina's Budget Calendar

By Tazra Mitchell
Policy Analyst, Budget & Tax Center
June 2015

In odd-numbered years, North Carolina enacts a two-year budget. The budget passed in the summer of 2015, for example, runs the course of two fiscal years, from July 1, 2015 to June 30, 2017. It is known as the 2015-17 budget.

In even-numbered years, state leaders make adjustments to the two-year budget based on current information about revenues and expenses. This is often called the “continuation budget.” If the state receives less revenue than predicted or costs are higher than predicted, legislators and the governor may make tax changes to increase revenue, change the rules governing some state programs in order to lower costs, or direct state agencies to cut their budgets.

The state constitution mandates that North Carolina have a balanced budget. That means state leaders cannot budget total expenses that are greater than anticipated revenues.

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