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 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. 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, 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.  

Online Input Opportunities

Click here to submit your budget ideas using the online submittal form.

Budget Simulation

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

Taxpayer Receipt

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: 

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:

Open Budget Tool

Contact Us

  1. Jennifer Larson
    Director of Finance & Budget

    50 W. 13th St.
    Dubuque, IA  52001

    Phone: 563.589.4322
    Fax: 563.690.6689

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. Click the links below for additional information:

The public hearing for the FY 2021 Resolution Establishing Maximum Property Tax Dollars is set for February 17, 2020.

Recommended Budget Documents