(a) Each local government and public authority shall operate under an annual balanced budget ordinance adopted and administered in accordance with this Article. A budget ordinance is balanced when the sum of estimated net revenues and appropriated fund balances is equal to appropriations. Appropriated fund balance in any fund shall not exceed the sum of cash and investments minus the sum of liabilities, encumbrances, and deferred revenues arising from cash receipts, as those figures stand at the close of the fiscal year next preceding the budget year. It is the intent of this Article that, except for moneys expended pursuant to a project ordinance or accounted for in an intragovernmental service fund or a trust and agency fund excluded from the budget ordinance under G.S. 159-13(a), all moneys received and expended by a local government or public authority should be included in the budget ordinance. Therefore, notwithstanding any other provision of law, no local government or public authority may expend any moneys, regardless of their source (including moneys derived from bond proceeds, federal, state, or private grants or loans, or special assessments), except in accordance with a budget ordinance or project ordinance adopted under this Article or through an intragovernmental service fund or trust and agency fund properly excluded from the budget ordinance.
(b) The budget ordinance of a unit of local government shall cover a fiscal year beginning July 1 and ending June 30. The budget ordinance of a public authority shall cover a fiscal year beginning July 1 and ending June 30, except that the Local Government Commission, if it determines that a different fiscal year would facilitate the authority's financial operations, may enter an order permitting an authority to operate under a fiscal year other than from July 1 to June 30. If the Commission does permit an authority to operate under an altered fiscal year, the Commission's order shall also modify the budget calendar set forth in G.S. 159-10 through 159-13 so as to provide a new budget calendar for the altered fiscal year that will clearly enable the authority to comply with the intent of this Part. (1971, c. 780, s. 1; 1973, c. 474, s. 5; 1975, c. 514, s. 3; 1979, c. 402, s. 1; 1981, c. 685, s. 2.)