Balancing act 2021

​Balancing Act Budget Simulation

Participate in the creation of the City of Dubuque’s Fiscal Year 2021 budget in a fun and interactive way. Use your smartphone, tablet or computer to use the City’s new online budget simulation tool called “Balancing Act.”  This tool allows users to learn how property tax is budgeted and tax revenues are spent and illustrates how the City of Dubuque’s Fiscal Year 2021 budget will be developed. The budget simulator challenges residents and stakeholders to actively balance their own version of the City’s budget, subject to the same constraints City Council members face annually when considering the City’s recommended operating and capital budgets. Learn about the complex trade offs necessary to balance the general fund budget, then try your hand at balancing increases in certain programs and services with cuts in others. 

Click here to balance your own version of the City of Dubuque's budget for Fiscal Year 2021.

Hacer clic aquí para crear su propia versión del presupuesto de la Ciudad de Dubuque por el año fiscal 2021.

Click on the image below for instructions on how to use the budget simulation:

Balancing Act Budget Simulation Tips Page 2

Balancing Act Taxpayer Receipt

See where your City of Dubuque property taxes are spent in Fiscal Year 2020 based on the actual taxable value of your home.

Click here to view your Taxpayer Receipt.

Hacer clic aquí para ver su recibo estimado del contribuyente.

Click on the image below for instructions on how to use the Taxpayer Receipt:

Balancing Act Taxpayer Receipt Tips Page 1


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.