Fiscal Year 2021 Budget

Public Meetings & Input Opportunities

The Dubuque City Council held a series of public meetings as part of the Fiscal Year (FY) 2021 recommended budget review process.  Residents and stakeholders were 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, 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.  

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. 

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:

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:

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.

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.  

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Fiscal Year 2021 Recommended Budget Documents

FY21 Residents Guide Cover Page

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 Budget in Brief

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)

FY21 CIP Cover Page

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).

FY2021 Capital Improvement Program (CIP) - Recommended (13.2 MB)

Policy Budget Volume I Cover Page

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.

Volume IV - Thursday, Feb. 27 - 6 p.m.

Purchase of Services  |  Video
Conference Center (Grand River Center)  |  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 - Thursday, April 16 - 6:30 p.m.

Water  |  Video
Water & Resource Recovery Center  |  Video
Public Works  |  Video
Engineering  |  Video