Fiscal Year 2016-17 Operating and Capital Budget Planning


The City of Tempe has begun the process of kicking off its operating and capital budgets for the 2016-17 fiscal year. These budgets will not be finalized until June 2016, but the work is starting early to ensure plenty of time to plan, solicit community input, and work with city employees. The City also is examining revenue and expense projections for the next five years. The financial forecast provides a long-term view of how current year budget discussions will impact the City’s future finances, and is consistent with the City Council’s stated priority of maintaining long-term financial sustainability and vitality.

There are two separate aspects of the budget: operating budgets like the General Fund, Transit Fund, Golf Fund and others that pay for day-to-day operations, and the Capital Improvements Program (CIP) which uses secondary property taxes to repay bonds that fund repair and construction projects. Each year, the City Council sets both of these budgets.

Operating Budget
At their spring 2015 retreat, the City Council met and identified key strategic priorities that will provide the direction and framework for the next year’s budget.  Budget staff has prepared the fall financial forecast to identify challenges and opportunities and elicit City Council direction very early to prioritize and implement significant budget changes.  Tempe is looking at ways to limit rising compensation growth as personnel costs are the greatest expense in any service oriented organization.  With the City Council’s guidance, City Manager Andrew Ching will begin working with employees on this issue when the various agreements with employee groups open as scheduled for negotiation in early 2016.  Residents are encouraged to provide input to their policy makers.

Capital Improvements Program (CIP)

Although capital projects are scheduled throughout a five-year plan, only those projects during the first year of the plan are financed and adopted as part of the City’s annual budget.  The remaining years serve as a guide for future planning and are subject to annual review and modification.  The City Council will continue to implement its policy to keep the total property tax bill, also known as the property tax levy, on existing properties relatively constant from year to year. The policy mandates no increases to the annual levy on existing properties by more than the Consumer Price Index (West Region) rate of inflation. 

Discussions will begin early in 2016 with the City Council and community members about priorities for capital projects.

Community Priorities
As preparations begin to develop the FY 2016-17 budget, citizen input is again needed.  The Municipal Budget office has posted an open topic questionnaire titled “Community Priorities for Upcoming Budget Cycle” online at  Tempe Forum is an online program to solicit citizen input and feedback on various community related topics.  This is your opportunity to emphasize which City programs and services are most important to you.  In this forum, you are asked to pick which services you would prioritize by spending a “theoretical” $100 among the services listed.  You can distribute the funds evenly, or you can spend all your ‘money’ in one area.  In addition, you may add comments about the questionnaire or city services. 

The forum will assist City Officials in gauging public interest and priorities as they begin preparing the FY 2016-17 budget.  Tempe Forum continues the City’s efforts to expand its online presence to provide more opportunities for citizen interaction and engagement.   

 2015-16 Annual Budget Document (Operating and Capital)

Long-Range Forecast February 2016

2016-17 Budget Development Scheduled Public Meetings 
      CAPITAL BUDGET                       OPERATING BUDGET
    Introduction of All Proposed Projects 
 Updated Long-Range Forecast            
Public Forum* 
 Public Forum*
Present Prioritized Projects 
Present Prioritized Projects 
Budget Review Session 
 Budget Review Session
Budget Review Session
5.05  Budget Review Session (follow-up)
Public Hearing/Tentative Budget Adoption 
 Public Hearing/Tentative Budget Adoption
Public Hearing/Final Adoption
 Public Hearing/Final Adoption

All public meetings will be held in the City Council Chambers, 31 E. Fifth Street.  Agendas for all of these meetings will be available several days before each meeting. Visit the City Clerk's site for meeting times and additional information.

*The Public Forum will be held at 6:00pm in the Tempe History Museum Community Room located at 809 E. Southern Avenue.

FY 2016-17 Budget Planning Process
February 18 (Thursday) 4:00pm (Video) Work Study Session (Agenda) Issue Review Session Item 2C: Fiscal Year 2016-17 CIP Requests and Item 2D: Long-Range Financial Forecast
  February 24 (Wednesday) 6:00pm, Public Budget Forum, Tempe History Museum Community Room, 809 E. Southern Avenue (PowerPoint Presentation
  March 17 (Thursday) 4:00pm (Video) Work Study Session Issue Review Session (Agenda) Item 2A: Fiscal Year 2016-17 CIP Recommendations
  March 29 (Tuesday) 6:00pm (Video) Work Study Session Issue Review Session (continued from 3.17) (Agenda) Item 2A: Fiscal Year 2016-17 CIP Recommendations
  April 21 (Thursday) 4:00pm (Video) Work Study Session Issue Review Session (Agenda) Item 2B: Fiscal Year 2016-17 Budget Review Session
  May 5 (Thursday) 4:00pm (Video) Work Study Session Issue Review Session (Agenda) Item 2C: Fiscal Year 2016-17 Budget Review Session Follow-up
  May 26 (Thursday) Special Meeting* (Video) (Agenda) Fiscal Year 2016-17 Tentative Operating Budget Adoption
  June 9 (Thursday) Special Meeting* (Video) (Agenda) Fiscal Year 2016-17 Capital Improvements Program, Truth in Taxation, Property Tax First Hearing/Introduction, Final Budget Adoption
  June 23 (Thursday) Special Meeting* (Video) (Agenda) Property Tax Second Hearing/Final Adoption
  *Special Meetings immediately follow the Regular Council Meetings which begin at 6:00pm. 

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