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2021-2022 Biennial Budget Development

On October 6, 2020City Manager Elizabeth Pauli presented her 2021-2022 Proposed Biennial Budget to the City Council during the Council Study Session. City Council adopted the 2021-2022 Biennial Budget on November 24, 2020. This webpage provides details of the Budget Development process.


For videos on each priority area, please visit our Proposed 2021-2022 Biennial Budget playlist.


Capital Facilities Plan 

In addition to the City's operating expenses, the City Council also considers allocation of resources for substantial investments. These investments, often called capital projects, are planned over a 6-year horizon through a document called the Capital Facilities Plan. This document is mandated by the Growth Management Act (GMA) and shows the City's desired projects, available resources, and alignment with the Comprehensive Plan. To review the 2021-2026 Adopted Capital Facilities Plan, please click here.

Budget Presentations on Council's Priority Areas

Throughout October and early November 2020, staff provided detailed presentations on the budget and how the budget influences each of the City Council’s Priority Areas. 


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


Community Feedback

Balancing Act Tool

Using our interactive budgeting tool, called Balancing Act, the community provided the City with valuable feedback throughout the budget process on how they would reprioritize services within the General Fund or support some of the funding for services included in the Proposed Budget. 


Community Town Hall 

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 offered opportunities for attendees to provide their thoughts on its contents and ask questions in virtual breakout sessions. 

The Community Town Hall featured three breakout rooms for attendees to submit questions and comments. The documents below reflect content compiled from all three rooms. The Frequently Asked Questions document provides answers for questions received in the breakout rooms. The All Questions and Comments document provides a comprehensive view of questions and comments received.

Public Hearings 

The City hosted two public hearings on the budget on October 27, 2020 and November 10, 2020 at 5:15 PM during the regularly scheduled Tacoma City Council Meetings.

First Round of Outreach and Community Feedback

The budget process started with a community survey (conducted November-December 2019), and 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. 

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 23 workshop.


The initial results of our outreach were shared with the City Council at the August 18, 2020 City Council Study Session. We conducted 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.