In November 2016, County Council voted to switch from an annual to a two-year – or biennium– budget cycle to more actively measure the performance of the County’s programs to ensure residents are receiving high-quality services that meet their needs. The County’s first biennium budget begins July 1, 2017 for the FY18-19 period, and ends June 30, 2019.
Benefits of a Biennium Budget
Richland County Council, Administration and the Finance Office have identified several benefits for operating with a biennium budget. Three key advantages of two-year budgeting are improved long-term planning, better oversight of service delivery and more time for budget review.
A biennium budget also allows more time for assessing programs and controlling costs and gives staff more time to research and discuss financial options and opportunities. Click here to learn more.
About the County Budget
The County budget is the single most important document Richland County Council uses to oversee the delivery of services, programs and resources to Richland County residents. By state law, the County must approve a balanced budget prior to July 1. Richland County’s fiscal year is July 1-June 30.
The budget is officially adopted by Council as the financial plan for the County after months of preparation and review. Before the budget is adopted, Richland County Council holds a public hearing at which residents can make comments, ask questions and address concerns related to the budget.
Once adopted, the County budget is made available for public viewing both online and in hardcopy form at the County Administration Building. Click here to scroll through the FY16-17 Budget Book for a look at where money comes from and how it’s spent. Click here to use an interactive budget graph that maps current revenues and expenditures. Click here to read the Administrator's letter to Council regarding the first proposed biennium budget, dated April 27, 2017.
Data and Policies Guiding the First Biennim Budget (FY18-19)
The Richland County Finance Office is using several standards and controls for implementing the first biennium budget. The County has also considered the input and knowledge of the Greenville County, S.C., finance staff during this transition. Greenville County has operated with a biennium budget for more than 20 years. Click here to look at some of the policies guiding the County's first two-year budget.
Budget Calendar for FY18-19
Crafting the first biennium budget is a roughly seven-month process. The planning process began in October 2016 and culminates with a budget presentation to County Council in April 2017. The approval process begins in April and ends by July 1. Click here to view the anticipated timeline for implementing the first biennium budget. The public hearing for the FY18-19 budget is 6 p.m. Thursday, May 18 at Council Chambers.
Popularity of Biennium Budgets among Local Governments
The Government Finance Review
, a bimonthly publication by the Government Finance Officers Association, reported in 2014 that biennium budgets are becoming more and more popular among local governments and similar agencies. The study shows that participating agencies with multi-year budgets reported improved fiscal discipline and improved long-term fiscal sustainability. Read the report here.
Richland County Finance Office
The Finance Office is responsible for maintaining the fiscal integrity of the County’s financial records. To learn more about the Finance Office, click here.