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Dubuque News

Posted on: February 6, 2020

City’s FY2021 Budget Public Meetings Start Feb. 17

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 begins 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 will also present 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. 4, 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.


Monday, Feb. 17: Public hearing to establish Maximum Property Tax Dollars for Fiscal Year 2021 and presentation of FY2021 Recommended Budget

Saturday, Feb. 22: Information Services, City Attorney, City Clerk, Public Information, City Manager, Human Resources, Cable TV

Monday, Feb. 24: Health Services, Human Rights, Library, Airport, Finance/Budget

Wednesday, Feb. 26: Housing & Community Development, Planning, Economic Development, Transportation Services

Thursday, Feb. 27: Purchase of Services, Five Flags Civic Center, Grand River Center, Parks, Recreation

Monday, March 23: Emergency Management, Emergency Communications, Police, Fire, Building Services

Wednesday, March 25: Water, Water & Resource Recovery Center, Public Works, Engineering

Thursday, March 26: Public hearing to adopt the Fiscal Year 2021 budget

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, and streamed live on the city’s Facebook page at 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. Public input on the FY2021 budget may also be submitted online through the “Balancing Act” Budget Simulation tool at and through the “Contact Us” option on the City website,

The recommended budget materials will be posted on the City of Dubuque website on Tuesday, Feb. 18, at and printed copies will be made available for viewing at the City Clerk’s Office in City Hall and be available for checkout from the Carnegie-Stout Public Library Reference Desk. 

Dubuque’s Jule Transit offers Saturday and evening transportation service to city council meetings and budget presentations. For more information on routes and schedules, visit or call 563-589-4196. Mini-bus service is also available for seniors and individuals with a qualifying disability until 9 p.m. Call 563-690-6464 to schedule a trip.

For more information, contact Budget Director Jennifer Larson at 563-589-4322 or

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