Skip to main content

e-Li: Electronic Library

Financial Management under General Laws with Local Option Application

As the financial structure of counties has grown more complex and cash flow has increased, many counties have found the general laws to be inadequate.  Further, the management of county finances under the general law is a fragmented system in which each department makes purchases without issuing purchase orders and maintains separate accounting records. Under this system it is difficult to manage the cash flow for investing funds and to properly determine the county's financial condition. To compensate for these deficiencies the General Assembly passed the Fiscal Control Acts in 1957, the County Financial Management System in 1981, and the Local Option Budgeting Law in 1993. Although these are general laws, they apply only to counties in which they have been approved by a two-thirds vote of the county legislative body (or by referendum in the case of the 1957 and 1981 acts). County Budget Laws Table.

The primary reasons for these acts were to (1) better use business management techniques, (2) consolidate and establish a uniform financial system, (3) improve utilization of county resources, (4) provide for the employment of a trained technician in finance, and (5) improve county financial information.