Budget Glossary

The glossary contains definitions for relevant terms mentioned in the State Budget Manual. Many legal definitions can be found in G.S.143C-1-1.  

The State Budget Act defines a state agency as “a unit of the executive, legislative, or judicial branch of State government, such as a department, an institution, a division, a commission, a board, a council, or The University of North Carolina. The term does not include a unit of local government or a public authority.” (G.S. 143C-1-1(d)(24)

Authorized Budget 
The authorized budget is composed of the certified budget plus allowable internal budget revisions (type 14 budget revisions) and adjustments that must be approved by OSBM (type 12 budget revisions) through its statutory authority or acting on behalf of the Governor under the Governor’s Constitutional role and authority as Director of the Budget. This is the working budget and is reflected on the Monthly Budget Report (BD 701).(G.S. 134C-1-1(d)(1a)) 

Base Budget 
The base budget is the part of the state budget necessary to continue the current level of services and may be adjusted for items authorized in G.S. 143C-1-1(d)(1c)

The two fiscal years beginning on July 1 of each odd-numbered year and ending on June 30 of the next odd-numbered year. (G.S. 143C-1-1(d)(2)

Block Grant 
Noncompetitive formula grants mandated by Congress that provide federal assistance for broadly defined functions, such as community development or social services. 

A plan to provide and spend money for specified programs, functions, activities, or objects during a fiscal year. (G.S. 143C-1-1(d)(3)

Budget Revision 
The process by which funds may be transferred, receipts budgeted, and positions established, as required by agency or OSBM approval.  

Budget year 
The fiscal year for which a budget is proposed and enacted. (G.S. 143C-1-1(d)(4)

Capital Improvement Budget 
The capital improvement budget is for real property acquisitions, new construction, rehabilitation of existing facilities, and repairs and renovations. These types of expenditures are budgeted separately from agency operating expenditures. (GS 143C-1-1(d)(5)) 

Certified Budget 
The certified budget is enacted by the General Assembly and includes adjustments made for (i) distributions to State agencies from statewide reserves appropriated by the General Assembly, (ii) distributions of reserves appropriated to a specific agency by the General Assembly, and (iii) organizational or budget changes directed by the General Assembly but left to the Director to carry out. (GS143C-1-1(d)(7)

Change Budget 
The change budget refers to increases or decreases made to State’s budget outside the base budget process and includes items such as the creation of new programs, expansion or reduction of existing programs, and salary and benefit increases. 

Community Colleges Faculty and Administrators 
Positions funded in the state budget on a per unit allocation for employment of faculty and administrators in the state's Community College System. 

Debt Service 
Debt service are funds required to make scheduled principal and interest payments to retire outstanding debt obligations of the State, regardless of repayment source.  

Departmental Receipts 
Pursuant to G.S. 143C-1-1(d)10, departmental receipts are fees, licenses, federal funds, grants, fines, penalties, tuition, and other similar collections or credits generated by state agencies in the course of performing their governmental functions, that are applied to the cost of a program administered by the state agency or transferred to the Civil Penalty and Forfeiture Fund pursuant to G.S. 115C-457.1, and that are not defined as tax proceeds or nontax revenues. Departmental receipts may include moneys transferred into a fiscal year from a prior fiscal year.  

A financial obligation created by a purchase order, contract, salary commitment, unearned or prepaid collections for services provided by the State, or other legally binding agreement. (G.S. 143C-1-1(d)(12)

Federal Funds 
These funds are received from federal government agencies for support of programs on the state level. Federal funds are received through block grants, entitlement programs, and specific grants. 

General Fund 
The general fund is made up of tax revenues (non-transportation) such as individual income tax, sales tax, corporate tax, franchise tax, insurance premium tax and a number of smaller tax revenue sources. In addition, the general fund includes non-tax revenues such as income from the Treasurer’s investments, fees received from the court system, miscellaneous fees charged for state services, and Medicaid disproportionate share receipts. 

General Fund Budget Codes 
These codes are for the budgets of each agency and university that are supported from state General Fund revenue and from receipts considered to be general rather than specific in nature. 

General Obligation Bonds 
This consists of appropriations authorized by the General Assembly from bonds that require an affirmative vote of the people to authorize the issuance of bonds pledging the full faith and credit of the state for specific purposes, chiefly capital improvements and highway construction. 

Highway Fund 
Highway Fund tax revenue includes a portion of the motor fuel excise tax, jet fuel tax, licenses and fees relating to the operation of motor vehicles, and a fixed transfer from the General Fund from short-term vehicle lease tax revenue. Highway Fund nontax revenue includes income from the State Treasurer's investments of Highway Fund dollars and some miscellaneous sources. 

Highway Trust Fund 
This fund receives revenue from a portion of the tax revenue on motor fuels, on vehicle sales, and some DMV fees and non-tax revenue from the investment income from the State Treasurer’s investment of Highway Trust Fund dollars. 

Information Technology
Information technology is set of tools, processes, and methodologies, including, but not limited to, coding and programming; data communications, data conversion, and data analysis; architecture; planning; storage and retrieval; systems analysis and design; systems control; mobile applications; and equipment and services employed to collect, process, and present information to support the operation of an organization. The term also includes office automation, multimedia, telecommunications, and any personnel and support personnel required for planning and operations. (G.S. 143B-1320(a)(11)

Investment Income 
The State Treasurer administers the Cash Management and Trust Funds Investments Programs. The yield from the investment programs is credited to nontax revenue accounts for the General Fund and Highway Funds, which are called "Investment Income" accounts. 

Judicial Employees
These are positions funded in the state budget for the Judicial Branch, ranging from the Chief Justice to the clerks of court. These positions are not subject to the State Personnel Act. 

Lapsed Salary 
Lapsed salary is the budgeted dollar amount not expended for salary and associated benefits during the period in which a position is vacant. Each agency is responsible for calculating lapsed salary funds generated and must be prepared to submit this information to OSBM when requested. 

Legislative Bonds (Two-thirds Bonds) 
This consists of appropriations authorized by the General Assembly from bonds which pledge the full faith and credit of the state for capital improvements. The authorization is limited to an amount not to exceed two-thirds of the amount by which the state's indebtedness has been reduced during the previous biennium. 

Legislative Salary Increase 
This is a salary increase given to state-funded local employees and state employees by the General Assembly. The increase may be a percentage increase of the base pay, a flat dollar amount per employee, or a combination of both.  

Longevity Pay
Longevity pay is the compensation paid to state employees who have been employed by the state for a certain number of years. For most employees, the payment is made on the anniversary date when the employee began his or her employment with the state. Questions about longevity should be directed to the Office of State Human Resources. 

Net Proceeds 
The gross amount received from the sale, lease, rental, or other disposition of any state lands, less: 

  • Such expenses incurred incident to that sale, lease, rental, or other disposition as may be allowed under rules and regulations adopted by the Governor and approved by the Council of State; and 
  • A service charge to be paid into the State Land Fund. (G.S. 146-30) 

Nontax Revenue 
This is revenue that is not a tax proceed and that is required by statute to be credited to the General Fund. (G.S. 143C-1-1(d)(19) 

Object or Line Item (Account Numbers) 
This is an expenditure or receipt in a recommended or enacted budget that is designated in the Budget Code Structure of the North Carolina Accounting System Uniform Chart of Accounts prescribed by the Office of the State Controller. (G.S. 143C-1-1(d)(20)

Other Receipts 
These are the funds received by state agencies and institutions for services performed, such as patient receipts in hospitals, tuition fees in the universities and community colleges, or as fines for violations of state regulations. 

Over-Realized Receipts  
Receipts in excess of those certified in Governmental and Proprietary Funds. These are receipts received for services performed, fines received for violation of state regulations, or federal grants and funds received for specific purposes which exceed the amounts anticipated and budgeted by the General Assembly. When such excess receipts occur in the General Fund or Highway Fund budgets and the receipts are not authorized by OSBM to be used by the agency, they revert to the appropriate fund at the end of the fiscal year. 

Public School Employees
These are positions funded in the state budget for support of local public school units, including public school teachers. Driver education teachers are funded from the Highway Fund. 

Purpose or Program (Fund Number)
This is a group of objects or line items for support of a specific activity outlined in a recommended or enacted budget that is designated by a nine-digit fund code (budget code, plus first four digits) in accordance with the Budget Code Structure of the North Carolina Accounting System Uniform Chart of Accounts prescribed by the Office of the State Controller. (G.S. 143C-1-1(d)(23)

Repair and Renovations Reserve 
The Repair and Renovations Reserve Account is established as a reserve in the State Capital and Infrastructure Fund for the repair and renovation of General Fund supported State-owned facilities. (G.S. 143C-4-3.1)  

Salary Adjustment 
The Office of State Human Resources (OSHR) may approve, or delegate approval authority allowing agencies to give increases to employees who are promoted or to others in response to private or government competition. 

Salary Reserve 
Salary funds remaining on an annual basis when positions are filled at lower salary levels than budgeted. These funds may be used for salary range revisions and reclassification of positions, subject to approval of the OSHR and OSBM when needed. 

Savings Reserve 
This account is a restricted reserve from which funds are authorized by the General Assembly for emergencies, revenue declines, or court or administrative order costs. The reserve is funded by 15% of the estimated growth in State tax revenues until the account reaches a recommended balance jointly developed by OSBM and the Fiscal Research Division.  

Special Fund Budget Codes 
These non-General Fund codes account for budgets supported by the proceeds of specific revenue sources and are legally restricted for specific purposes or services performed by the agency. 

Special Indebtedness 
A form of appropriations from authorized debt approved by the General Assembly. Debt service is subject to an annual appropriation by the General Assembly and the full faith and credit of the State is not pledged.  In certain circumstances assets of the State may be pledged as collateral for outstanding debt.  Such debt that is supported by the General Fund is limited to twenty-five percent of outstanding general obligation debt authorized after January 1, 2013.   

State Budget 
The total requirements for North Carolina state government agencies and institutions consists of General Fund dollars, Highway Fund dollars, federal funds, and various other receipts and funds. The state budget includes state aid funding for local public school units and local community colleges and institutions. 

State Budget Act 
This is the act that governs the budgetary process in North Carolina. It provides the statutory language for development, presentation, authorization, and control of the budget.  

State Capital Infrastructure Fund  
The State Capital and Infrastructure Fund is established as a special fund within OSBM in order to fund new capital improvement projects and repair and renovations projects for State Agencies and the University of North Carolina.  The fund receives four percent of net General Fund revenue, during the fiscal year; and, one-quarter of the unreserved fund balance, as determined by a cash basis, at the end of the fiscal year.  The fund is interest bearing (G.S. 143C-4-3.1) .

State Funds 
Any moneys including federal funds deposited in the State treasury except moneys deposited in a trust fund or agency fund as described in G.S. 143C-1-3. (G.S. 143C-1-1(d)(25)

Tax Revenue 
These are the contributions from persons, groups, or businesses within the state for the support of government. 

University Faculty and Administrators 
These are positions funded in the state budget for employment of teaching faculty and administrators in the state's universities. These positions are not subject to the State Human Resources Act. 

Unreserved Fund Balance 
The available cash balance effective June 30 after excluding documented encumbrances, unearned revenue, statutory requirements, and other legal obligations to a fund's cash balance as determined by the State Controller. Beginning unreserved fund balance equals ending unreserved fund balance from the prior fiscal year. (G.S. 143C-1-1(d)(30)

Vending Facility 
A vending facility includes a snack bar, cafeteria, restaurant, cafe, concession stand, vending stand, art service, or other facilities at which food, drinks, novelties, newspapers, periodicals, confections, souvenirs, tobacco products, or related items are regularly sold. (G.S. 111-42(d))