Fiscal Year 2014-15 Operating and Capital Budget Planning

The City of Tempe has begun the process of kicking off its operating and capital budgets for the 2014-15 fiscal year. These will not be finalized until June 2014, 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 long-term financial sustainability.

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 Budgets
The Tempe City Council is maintaining its commitment to voters by allowing a temporary additional sales tax to expire on June 30, 2014. The 2013-14 fiscal year is the last in which Tempe will have the additional sales tax as part of its operating budgets. Before voters approved the additional tax in May 2010, Tempe pledged that it would be a temporary, four-year tax. It has allowed Tempe to avoid having to cut too deeply into essential city services as part of balancing the budget during the devastating recession. Since the tax was approved, Tempe has continued to cut its budget in small increments each year, in order to lessen the impact of the tax’s eventual expiration.

Now, Tempe is looking at ways to limit rising personnel costs, which include costs like salaries, healthcare benefits and contributions to state retirement systems. 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 late 2013.

Capital Improvements Program (CIP)
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 rate of inflation, which is currently 1.7 percent for 2013-14, a lower-than-allowed 2 percent inflationary adjustment.

Discussions will begin in latter 2013 with the City Council and with community members about priorities for capital projects. 

 2013-14 Annual Budget Document (Operating and Capital)


2014-15 Budget Development Scheduled Public Meetings 
CAPITAL BUDGET                          OPERATING BUDGET
 Presentation of Proposed Projects 2.13  
 Public Forum  2.25  Public Forum 
 Public Forum  2.26  Public Forum
  2.27 Updated Long-Range Forecast 
 CIP Work Session  3.20   
 CIP Follow-up (if necessary) 4.10  
   4.24  Budget Review Session 
   5.22  Public Hearing re: Tentative Adoption
 Public Hearing re: Final Adoption



Public Hearing re: Final Adoption
1st Public Hearing re: Property Tax
2nd and Final Public Hearing re: Property Tax
2014-15 Budget Planning Process
  August 22, 2013   Issue Review Session: Budget Strategy Update   Agenda  Video
  October 24, 2013   Issue Review Session: Long-Range Forecast Presentation to Council  Agenda   Video
  November 18, 2013   Committee of the Whole: Budget Discussion Follow-up  Agenda 
  February 13, 2014   Issue Review Session  Agenda   Video  Introduction of the FY 2014-15 CIP Requests   
     FY 2014-15 CIP GO Requests
  February 25, 2014 (Tuesday) Public Budget Forum (Operating and Capital Budgets)
     6-8pm, South Police Substation, Community Room, 8201 South Hardy Drive 
  February 26, 2014   (Wednesday) Public Budget Forum (Operating and Capital Budgets)
     6-8pm, Tempe Transportation Center, Don Cassano Community Room (2nd Floor), 200 E. 5th Street
     Free Parking is available in the City Hall garage on Fifth Street, across from the Transportation Center
  February 27, 2014   Issue Review Session:  Agenda   Video  
     Long-Range Forecast Update(Operating Budget), PowerPoint Presentation, and CIP Follow-up
  March 20, 2014   Issue Review Session:  CIP  Agenda  Video
  April 24, 2014   Issue Review Session:  Agenda   Video  FY 2014-15 Annual Financial Program and CIP
      Follow-up; Formal Council Meeting:  Agenda  Truth in Taxation Hearing (Item 6A3)
  May 22, 2014    Special Meeting following Formal Council Meeting     Agenda    Video
     City Council considers adoption of Tentative Fiscal Year 2014-15 Operating Budget 
  June 12, 2014   Special Meeting following Formal Council Meeting    Agenda and Supporting Materials     
     Public hearing and adoption of the Fiscal Year 2014-15 Capital Improvements Program
     City Council considers adoption of Final Fiscal Year 2014-15 Budget
     Property Tax ordinance introduced and first public hearing held
  June 26, 2014   Special Meeting following Formal Council Meeting 
     City Council considers final adoption of property tax ordinance; public hearing at formal Council meeting 
*   Tempe City Council Meetings are held in the Council Chambers at City Hall, (Garden Level) 31 East Fifth Street, Tempe, Arizona.
Visit the City Clerk's Office for a complete listing of meetings and agendas.