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2021-2022 Biennial Budget Development

2021-2022 Proposed Biennial Budget

On October 6, 2020City Manager Elizabeth Pauli presented her 2021-2022 Proposed Biennial Budget to the City Council during the Council Study Session. Here are the documents that were presented:

Budget Presentations to be held in October 2020 on Council's Priority Areas

Throughout October/early November 2020, staff will provide more detailed presentations on the budget and how the budget influences each of the City Council’s Priority Areas. Here's the schedule of the presentations:


Date Topic/Council Priority Area
October 6, 2020 Proposed Budget Workshop, Tacoma Public Utilities-Utility Rates Budget 
October 13, 2020 Community Safety Budget Workshop (presentations from Police, Fire, Neighborhood and Community Services and Public Works)
October 20, 2020
Affordable Housing Workshop and Health Workshop 
October 27, 2020
Access Workshop 
November 3, 2020  Livable Wage Jobs, Belief and Trust, Culture and Effectiveness 


Community Feedback and Engagement Opportunities

Tell Us If or How You'd Adjust the Proposed Budget with Our Balancing Act Exercise

On October 6, 2020, the City Manager presented her proposed budget to the City Council. Use our interactive budgeting tool, called Balancing Act, to provide the City with feedback on how you would continue to reprioritize services within the General Fund or support some of the funding for services included in the Proposed Budget. You can then share this information online or with friends and your responses are also submitted to the City as feedback on the 2021-2022 Budget. The deadline to complete the Balancing Act exercise is November 13, 2020.


Provide Your Feedback Through the Balancing Act Budget Tool 


Community Town Hall on October 21, 2020

On October 21, 2020 the City hosted a virtual town hall meeting with the Tacoma City Council from 6-7:30 PM via Zoom. Staff gave a brief presentation on the budget and then offered opportunities for attendees to provide their thoughts on its contents and ask questions in virtual breakout sessions. 

Meeting summary coming soon.


Public Hearings on the Budget

The City will host two public hearings on the budget. They will be held on October 27, 2020 and November 10, 2020 at 5:15 PM. Please check back here for more information on these public hearings.


Developing the 2021-2022 Biennial Budget 

The budget process started with a community survey (conducted November-December 2019) and then the City Council identified priorities to guide budget development and outreach. Over the summer of 2020, the Office of Management & Budget conducted community outreach on priorities, impacts of the COVID-19 emergency on City services, and the financial impacts on the 2021-2022 budget. In October 2020, the City Manager released her proposed budget to the City Council for their review and adoption before the end of the year.  

First Round of Outreach and Community Feedback

Throughout June and July 2020, the Office of Management and Budget hosted online surveys in four different languages and two community workshops to gather input on what resources and services are important to the community as we decide how to balance the City’s budget for 2021-2022. Watch a recording of the July 23rd workshop.


The results of our outreach were shared with the City Council at the August 18, 2020 City Council Study Session. We will be conducting additional outreach in the Fall 2020.  


City Council and City Manager Priorities

The City Council’s and City Manager’s priorities for the 2021-2022 Budget include:

  • Racial Equity– Intentionally work towards overcoming systemic racism and all other forms of oppression with the institution and wider community.
  • Health – Improve health outcomes and reduce inequities for all Tacoma residents.
  • Housing – Decrease the percentage of individuals who are spending more than 45% of income on housing and transportation costs.
  • Access – Improve access and proximity by residents of diverse income levels and race/ethnicities to community facilities, services, infrastructure, and employment.
  • Community Safety – Increase positive public perception of safety and overall quality of life
  • Jobs – Increase the number of Tacoma households that have livable wage jobs within proximity to the city.
  • Engagement – Increase the percentage of residents who believe they are able to have a positive impact on the community and express trust in the public institutions in Tacoma.