The City of Dubuque’s approach to its annual budget involves the preparation of three budget documents: the Policy Budget, the Capital Improvement Program (CIP) Budget, and the Resident’s Guide.

The Policy Budget includes the City department detail, by defining 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.

The Capital Improvement Program (CIP) Budget represents the City of Dubuque’s five year 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 Budget reflects the City’s comprehensive plan and the goals and priorities established by the City Council. The first year of the five-year CIP Budget goes into the budget for the next year and deserves the most attention. The CIP Budget is updated each year so that City Council has the opportunity to change the next four years and add a new year. 

The Resident’s Guide pulls the entire budget together through visuals, narratives and summaries. It explains the budget, provides revenue, expenditure and personnel summaries and provides the City Council vision, goals and priorities on which the budget is based.

Open Budget Tool

Why do we budget? Why is it important?

The purpose of the budget is to:

  1. To meet the legal requirement. 
  2. To establish spending and income-raising authority. 
  3. To establish a work program for the fiscal year (objectives) and present it to the public. 
  4. To manage and control resources and their use. 
  5. To assure the proper mix of costs and services. 
  6. To assure the most effective and efficient use of available resources. 
  7. To set the tempo and direction of the city government. 
  8. To prioritize policies and objectives. 
  9. To link dollars with results. 

Learn more about the City budget.

Balancing Act Budget Simulator

The Balancing Act simulation tool provides an in-depth look at the City budget. You can adjust revenues and expenditures, and then provide comments on how YOU think the City of Dubuque should spend its money. Budgets are submitted anonymously and demographic exit questions are optional.

Taxpayer Receipt

Where do your City tax dollars go? The online taxpayer receipt is designed to illustrate how your estimated City property taxes and local option sales tax are allocated to services such as Police, Fire, Parks, and Public Works. All information provided is anonymous.

Contact Us

  1. JennyLarsonJennifer Larson  |  email
    Director of Finance & Budget
    Phone: 563-589-4398
    Fax: 563-690-6689

    Staff Directory

    City Hall
    50 W. 13th St., Dubuque, IA 52001

    Monday - Thursday: 7 a.m. - 5 p.m.
    Friday: 7 a.m. - 1 p.m.