Budget Highlights for Fiscal Year 2016-17FY17 Budget Cover

The fiscal year 2016-17 budget was approved at the June 7, 2016 meeting of the Town Council. Here are the highlights:

  • Total Budget: $102,637,126 (includes Water & Sewer and Electric Utilities funds)
  • Tax Rate: $0.38 per $100 of valuation (While this rate is 1 cent lower than the current rate of $0.39, it is about 2 cents higher than the revenue neutral rate of $0.36. See pg 8 of budget document for more details)
  • New estimated total tax base of $5,958,438,000.  
  • No increases in water, sewer, or electric utility rates.
  • The monthly cost for residential garbage and recycling will decrease by $1.05 cents.
  • The monthly cost for yard waste collection has not been adjusted since 2008, and will increase by $2.85.
  • 17 new employee positions, including 3 Firefighters, a Traffic Engineering Analyst and 5 positions in the Police Department
  • Merit pay budgeted at an average 3.75% increase, dependent on performance
  • Adjustments to Development Fees that will help us keep pace with increased service costs
Major Projects

Street Resurfacing and Repair: $1,000,000
  • Several areas in town, including Dogwood Acres, Pearson Farms, Perry Farms, and N. Salem (see Transportation Projects page for full list)
Park & Greenway Improvements: $667,927
  • Reconstructing tennis courts at Apex Elementary School
  • Adding restroom facility to Salem Pond Park
  • Design work for Beaver Creek and Middle Creek Greenways
Vehicle Replacements/Additions: $1,875,499
  • Fire Engine Replacement
  • Yard Waste Vacuum truck replacement
  • Patrol cars
  • Vehicle replacements among several departments for vehicles with high mileage or under frequent repair
Water/Sewer System Capital Improvements: $1,655,000
  • Downtown water upgrades - improved water conservation and water quality
  • Wester Pressure Zone, Phase 1 - decreases high water pressures in western part of town
  • Commerce Street sewer upgrade - decreases maintenance improves reliability of sewer line

Budget Process
You might consider the annual operating budget to be the town’s most important work product. It gives Apex town officials the authority to collect revenue and make expenditures, depending on the priorities of the council, community, and staff. 

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.

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
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.

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.