Fiscal Year 2021 Budget
Public Meetings & Input Opportunities
The Dubuque City Council will hold a series of public meetings as part of the Fiscal Year (FY) 2021 recommended budget review process. Residents and stakeholders are encouraged to participate in the process.
The process began with a public hearing at the Monday, Feb. 17, city council meeting to establish the maximum property tax dollars the City will collect in FY2021. Dubuque City Manager Mike Van Milligen also presented the FY2021 Recommended Budget document to the city council at the Feb. 17 meeting. The process then continues with six public meetings to review city department/division budget details and concludes with a final public hearing on Thursday, March 26, to adopt the FY2021 Operating and Capital Budgets.
Changes made by the Iowa State Legislature last year have added additional steps to the budget adoption/approval process for all Iowa cities and counties for Fiscal Year 2021 and beyond. In addition to moving the budget adoption deadline from March 15 to March 31, cities and counties must hold a public hearing and adopt a resolution at the beginning of the process to establish the maximum amount of taxes the city or county will collect in the next fiscal year. After the public hearing notice is published, the governing body may decrease the proposed maximum property tax dollars but may not increase the amount.
At their regular meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 5, the city council adopted the budget and fiscal policy guidelines for FY2021 to provide targets or parameters within which the budget recommendation is formulated. The guidelines include a one percent increase in the city portion of the property tax rate, which would result in a 2.72 percent ($20.94) property tax increase for the average Dubuque homeowner, a 12.26 percent ($213.06) increase for the average multi-residential property, and decreases for the average commercial (-0.53 percent) and industrial (-0.03 percent) properties.
The Dollars & Cents document provides an overview of property taxes, budget, and debt reduction plan.
The public is invited to attend and provide input at the public hearings and the meetings in which city staff from each department and division present FY2021 budget information to the city council. All the meetings will be aired live on CityChannel Dubuque (Mediacom cable channels 8 and 117.2), streamed live and archived on the city’s website at www.cityofdubuque.org/media, and streamed live on the city’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/CityOfDubuque. With the exception of the 9 a.m. meeting on Saturday, Feb. 22, all meetings begin at 6 p.m. and are held in the City Council Chambers on the second floor of the Historic Federal Building at 350 W. Sixth St.
Scroll to the bottom of the page to view the budget documents sorted by department. After each department’s budget presentation to City Council, a video of the meeting will also be available.
Online Input Opportunities
Click here to submit your budget ideas using the online submittal form.
The budget simulator challenged residents and stakeholders to actively balance their own version of the City’s budget, subject to the same constraints City Council members face when considering the City’s recommended operating and capital budgets. Learn about these complex trade-offs necessary to balance the general fund budget, then try your hand at balancing increases in certain programs and services and cuts in others, adjusting the property tax rate, and submitting anonymous comments on the proposed FY2020 budget.
- Click your preferred language to balance your own version of the City of Dubuque’s budget for Fiscal Year 2020: English | Español
- Click here for instructions and help on using the budget simulation tool: PDF Instructions | Video Tutorial
Don’t forget to also check out the new Taxpayer Receipt tool to view an estimate of how your tax dollars are spent in Fiscal Year 2019:
- Click here to view your Taxpayer Receipt (English version)
- Haga clic aquí para ver su recibo estimado del contribuyente (la versión española)
- Click here for instructions and help on using the budget simulation tool
Where do your property taxes go? Click here to watch the short video!
Budget and Fiscal Policy Guidelines for FY2021
The budget guidelines are developed and adopted by City Council during the budgeting process in order to provide targets or parameters within which the budget recommendation will be formulated within the context of the City Council Goals and Priorities established in August 2019. The final budget recommendation may not meet all of these targets due to changing conditions and updated information during budget preparation.
The budget and fiscal policy guidelines for FY2021 were presented and adopted by the City Council at their February 4, 2020 meeting. Click the links below for additional information:
- Adopted FY2021 Budget and Fiscal Policy Guidelines
- City Manager’s Presentation to City Council on FY2021 Budget and Fiscal Policy Guidelines (Video Excerpt)
- City Manager’s Memo to City Council on FY2021 Budget and Fiscal Policy Guidelines
- Budget Director’s Memo on FY2021 Budget and Fiscal Policy Guidelines
Maximum Property Tax Dollars Resolution
Due to new requirements by the State of Iowa, additional steps to the budget approval process have been added for FY 2021 and beyond:
- Prior to setting the public hearing and publishing notice, the City Council can increase or decrease the maximum property tax dollars.
- Once this amount is established and set for public hearing, the Council cannot increase the amount at the public hearing.
- After the public hearing, the maximum property tax dollars can be approved as is or reduced, but not increased.
The FY 2021 Resolution Establishing Maximum Property Tax Dollars was set for public hearing by the City Council at their February 4, 2020 meeting:
- City Manager’s Presentation to City Council on setting the FY21 Resolution Establishing Maximum Property Tax Dollars (Video Excerpt)
The public hearing for the FY 2021 Resolution Establishing Maximum Property Tax Dollars was presented by the City Manager and adopted by City Council at the February 17, 2020 City Council meeting. The hearing included a brief presentation by City Assessor Troy Patzner:
- Public Hearing for Resolution Establishing Maximum Property Tax Dollars for Fiscal Year 2021 (Video Excerpt)
- City Manager’s Memo to City Council on FY 2021 Resolution Establishing Maximum Property Tax
- City Assessor’s Property Tax Presentation Slides
Recommended Budget Presentation
Dubuque City Manager Michael Van Milligan presented the FY2021 Recommended Budget to the City Council at their regular meeting on Monday, Feb. 17, 2020.
- City Manager’s Budget Transmittal Message for Feb. 17, 2020, City Council Agenda
- City Manager’s Recommended Budget PowerPoint Presentation from Feb. 17, 2020, City Council Meeting
- Feb. 17 Budget Presentation to City Council and Subsequent Discussion (Video Excerpt)
The detailed recommended budget materials are available for download/viewing below and printed copies are available for viewing at the City Clerk’s Office in City Hall, and available for checkout from the Carnegie-Stout Public Library Reference Desk.
Want to receive updates and announcements related to the City’s operating and capital improvement project budget? Sign up at www.cityofdubuque.org/notifyme.
Fiscal Year 2021 Recommended Budget Documents
Fiscal Year 2020 Recommended Resident’s Guide
This document provides a synopsis of the City’s recommended budget and guidelines. It includes a budget message from the City Manager, overview of the recommended budget, revenue and expenditure summaries, debt summaries, and a summary of the capital budget. Click on the links below to view the Recommended Resident’s Guide for Fiscal Year 2020.
FY2021 Recommended Resident’s Guide Part 1 - City Manager’s Budget Transmittal Message and Budget Overviews (39.2 MB)
FY2021 Recommended Resident’s Guide Part 2 - Financial Summaries, Debt Summary, CDBG, Capital Projects (22.4 MB)
Fiscal Year 2020-2024 Recommended Capital Improvement Program (CIP)
The CIP, as the plan for the City’s physical development effort, attempts to address a variety of needs which the City must meet if it is to maintain its physical facilities, meet its service commitments and provide for its future development. The CIP recommendation reflects the City’s comprehensive plan and the goals and priorities established by the City Council. The document lists projects by department followed by a CIP message from the City Manager. This document is fully searchable. To perform a search, type Ctrl + F and type a word in the search box. Click on the link below to view the Recommended FY 2021 - FY 2025 Capital Improvement Program (CIP).
Fiscal year 2021 Recommended Policy Budget
The Policy Budget defines goals and objectives for all City departments and activities, relates them to cost and resource requirements and attempts to establish measures for evaluating accomplishment. Specific improvement packages are developed and included in the Policy Budget for alternative funding and service levels. The Policy Budget document shows the budget by line item for each Department and provides a basis for fiscal control once the budget is adopted.
The Policy Budget emphasizes objectives, accomplishments, and alternative funding and service levels and is intended to keep the attention of the City Council and public on the major policy decisions involving what services the City government will provide, who will pay for them, and the implications of such decisions. Click on the links below to view the Recommended FY2021 Policy Budget.
City Manager’s Office | Video
Human Resources Office | Video
Public Information Office | Video
City Council | Video
Volume II - Monday, Feb. 24 - 6 p.m.
Finance | Video
Volume III - Wednesday, Feb. 26 - 6 p.m.Housing and Community Development | Video
Parks | Video
Recreation | Video
Multicultural Family Center | Video
Volume V - Monday, March 23 - 6 p.m.Emergency Management | Video
Emergency Communications | Video
Police | Video
Fire | Video
Building Services | Video
Volume VI - Wednesday, March 25 - 6 p.m.Water | Video
Water & Resource Recovery Center | Video
Public Works | Video
Engineering | Video