Fiscal Year 2015-16 Operating and Capital Budget Planning


The City of Tempe has begun the process of kicking off its operating and capital budgets for the 2015-16 fiscal year. These budgets will not be finalized until June 2015, 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
At their Fall 2014 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 2015.  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 rate of inflation, which is currently 1.8 percent for 2014-15.

Discussions will begin in latter 2014 with the City Council and with community members about priorities for capital projects.  

 2014-15 Annual Budget Document (Operating and Capital)

Long-Range Forecast February 2015

2015-16 Budget Development Scheduled Public Meetings 
      CAPITAL BUDGET                       OPERATING BUDGET
    Introduction of All Proposed Projects 
 Updated Long-Range Forecast            
Public Forum 
 Public Forum                                        
Recommended Projects 
Budget Review Session 
 Budget Review Session
Tentative Adoption of Budget
Tentative Adoption of Budget
Public Hearing/Final Adoption
 Public Hearing/Final Adoption

2015-16 Budget Planning Process
February 19 (Thursday) 4:00pm  Work Study Session Agenda; Issue Review Session Item 2A: Introduction of the CIP Requests; and Item 2B: Long-Range Forecast Update
February 25 (Wednesday) 6:00pm  Public Budget Forum (Operating and Capital Budgets)  Presentation


The City of Tempe will hold a public forum on Wednesday, Feb. 25 to inform community members about the city’s operating and Capital Improvement Program (CIP) budgets.  The meeting will take place at 6 p.m. in the Community Room at the Tempe History Museum located at 809 E. Southern Ave.    The city’s operating budget covers everyday expenses, such as salaries, materials and supplies, while the CIP covers capital expenses like major equipment replacements, street improvements, new facilities and building updates.  

The city will also discuss the priorities for the 2015-16 fiscal year.  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.
  March 26 (Thursday) 4:00pm  Work Study Session Agenda; Issue Review Session Item 2B:  Recommended 5-Year Capital Improvement Program
  April 23 (Thursday) 4:00pm Work Study Session Agenda; Issue Review Session Item 2D: Budget Review Session
  May 7 (Thursday) 6:00pm Regular Council Meeting Agenda; Truth in Taxation hearing Item 6A2
  May 21 (Thursday) Special Meeting (immediately following the Regular Council Meeting beginning at 6:00pm) Agenda; Hold a public hearing to adopt a resolution approving the fiscal year 2015-16 Tentative Budget; setting the public hearing for consideration of the fiscal year 2015-16 Final Budget immediately following the public hearing on the estimates of expenses on June 11, 2015, and convening a Special Meeting for consideration of the Final Budget adoption on June 11, 2015; and, setting the property tax levy and resulting rate at a meeting scheduled for June 25, 2015.

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