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2019-2020 Biennial Budget Development

Developing the Framework for how the City Plans to Use its Resources 

The City Manager shared her 2019-2020 Proposed Biennial Budget with City Council on October 2, 2018. The Proposed Budget focuses on achieving the goals the community laid out in Tacoma 2025 by advancing the strategic priorities identified by City Council, on meeting the pressing needs identified by residents, and on reflecting a continued commitment to fiscal responsibility. Read the presentation she gave to Council or watch it on TV Tacoma


Creating the Biennial Budget is a year-long process that includes many distinct components and incorporates resident feedback in a variety of ways, including listening sessions with the City Manager. View a version of the City Manager presentation from those sessions.


View the 2019-2020 Proposed Biennial Budget.


Get Involved and Learn More About the Budget Process


Budget Town Halls

The 2019-2020 Biennial Budget was proposed to the City Council by the City Manager on October 2, 2018. Before the budget is adopted in November 2018, the City will host four budget town halls in different parts of Tacoma. Residents are encouraged to attend, learn more about the budget, connect with City Staff and community members, and share feedback directly with City Council Members.


Feedback from the Town Halls will be shared with the entire City Council during the Engagement Report Out at the October 30, 2018 Budget Worksession.


Address Date & Time
Stewart Middle School 5010 Pacific Ave. October 8, 6-8 PM
Center at Norpoint 4818 Nassau Ave. NE October 11, 6-8 PM
Wilson High School  1202 N. Orchard St. October 22, 6-8 PM
STAR Center* 3873 S. 66th St. October 27, 2-4 PM

*Event will include food, Spanish-language interpretation, and Childcare. 


For free interpretation of any City of Tacoma meeting, please contact the TacomaFirst 311 Customer Support Center by dialing 311 within Tacoma city limits or (253) 591-5000 from anywhere else. We kindly request this notice 72 hours in advance but will try to accommodate any request. 



Budget Hearings and Adoption

Throughout the months of October and November 2018, the Council will be considering the 2019-2020 Proposed Budget. This process includes presentations from departments on what is included in their budgets and how this funding equitably achieves the Tacoma 2025 Goals. These Budget Worksessions are held Tuesdays at Noon in the Council Chambers at 747 Market Street. Members of the community are invited to attend but there will not be an opportunity to comment on the presentations or the proposed budget.  


Budget Calendar


There are, however, many opportunities for residents to share their thoughts and concerns with Council on the Proposed Budget. In addition to the Town Halls, members of the community are invited to speak to Council at Public Hearings on October 30 and November 6, 2018. These hearings are held during Council Meetings which are held at 5 PM in Council Chambers at 747 Market Street. 


Once Council has heard presentations from the departments and has heard feedback from the community, Council will make adjustments to the Proposed Budget and prepare to vote. A First Reading of the Budget is currently scheduled for November 13, 2018, and a Final Vote for adoption of the Budget is currently scheduled for November 20, 2018. Members of the community are invited to provide comment on both dates. These meetings will be held at 5 PM in Council Chambers at 747 Market Street.


Meeting Date & Time Location Opportunity for Public Comment
Asset Management, Walkability, and Community Development Budget Worksession October 8, 2018, 12 PM  Council Chambers, 747 Market St.   No
Utilities Budget Worksession October 16, 2018, 12 PM Council Chambers, 747 Market St.   No
Public Safety & Homelessness Budget Worksession October 23, 2018, 12 PM Council Chambers, 747 Market St.   No
Library and Non-Departmental Worksession October 30, 2018 12 PM Council Chambers, 747 Market St.   No
Engagement Report-Out at Worksession October 30, 2018, 12 PM 
Council Chambers, 747 Market St.   No
First Public Hearing October 30, 2018, 5 PM Council Chambers, 747 Market St.   Yes
Second Public Hearing November 6, 2018, 5 PM Council Chambers, 747 Market St.   Yes
First Reading* November 13, 2018, 5 PM Council Chambers, 747 Market St.   Yes
Second Reading & Adoption* November 20, 2018, 5 PM Council Chambers, 747 Market St.   Yes

*Proposed Dates

Developing the Proposed Budget

The 2019-2020 Proposed Biennial Budget is based on the Tacoma 2025 vision set by the community in 2015. In order to ensure that the City is on the right track towards achieving the 2025 Goals, the City also created the 2018 Community Survey where 752 randomly-selected residents evaluated the City and the services it provides. 


Based on 2025 and the Community Survey, City Council identified the following strategic priorities and a foundation of equity at their Strategic Planning Work Session:

  • Homelessness
  • Affordable Housing
  • Economic Development
  • Public Safety
  • Walkability
  • Digital Equity
  • Transit Access
  • Regional Coordination
  • Civic Engagement

Throughout the Spring and Summer of 2018, members of the community were asked to help rank these priorities and provide feedback to Council. Whether at the T-Town Services ExpoNeighborhood Council meetings, or six festivals and fairs spread across Tacoma, more than 1,200 residents shared their priorities with City staff. A full report on resident feedback will be provided at the October 30, 2018 Study Session. 


The City Manager considered the City Council priorities, community feedback, and department work-plans to develop a proposed budget that equitably advances the Tacoma 2025 Goals.