Citizen Budget Engagement

With the FY 2018 budget cycle underway, the City of Des Moines wants to hear your ideas on priorities, programs, improvements, and organizational processes. Your ideas can be submitted by clicking on the Give Us Your Ideas icon. We appreciate your input!

Timeline & News

Public meetings, City Council meetings & workshops, presentations, ...

What is the Budget?

Concepts and facts useful in understanding the budget process.

Give us your ideas!

Let us know your thoughts on addressing the budget challenge.

Current Budget

Expenditures by Department & Expenditures by Fund

Calendar
Timeline - Engagement Workshops

FY2018 Community Enrichment Budget Engagement Workshop

September 28, 2016

  • Civil & Human Rights, Library, Parks & Recreation
  • 6:00 PM - 7:30 PM
  • Bright Grandview Clubhouse
  • 2401 E 29th Street
  • Click here to view the presentation. To see the survey results, please follow this link.

FY2018 Public Safety Budget Engagement Workshop

October 18, 2016

  • Fire and Police
  • 6:00 PM - 7:30 PM
  • Police Academy
  • 433 E Army Post Road
  • Click here to view the presentation. To see the survey results, please follow this link.

FY2018 Infrastructure & Development Budget Engagement Workshop

November 9, 2016

  • Community Development, Engineering, Public Works
  • 6:00 PM - 7:30 PM
  • Polk County River Place
  • 2309 Euclid Avenue
  • Click here to view the presentation. To see the survey results, please follow this link.

FY2018 Capital Improvement Program (CIP) Budget Engagement Workshop

November 29, 2016

  • Capital Improvement Program
  • 6:00 PM - 7:30 PM
  • Art Center Levitt Auditorium
  • 4700 Grand Avenue
  • Click here to view the presentation. To complete the ranking survey and CIP allocation exercise, please follow this link. Descriptions of the choices in the allocation exercise can be found here. The survey will remain open until December 16. 

FY2018 Total Budget Review

December 12, 2016

  • Operating and Capital Budgets
  • 6:00 PM - 7:30 PM
  • Franklin Avenue Library
  • 5000 Franklin Avenue
  • Public engagement to inform Des Moines residents on the budget process and gather feedback on priorities. Prize drawing to be held - click here for rules and details.

FY2018 Final Budget Review with Proposed Changes

January 31, 2017

  • Operating and Capital Budgets
  • 6:00 PM - 7:30 PM
  • Des Moines Central Library
  • 1000 Grand Ave
  • Public engagement to inform Des Moines residents on the budget process and gather feedback on priorities. Prize drawing to be held - click here for rules and details.

Calendar
Timeline – Council Workshops

FY2018 Budget Workshop

December 5, 2016

  • Parking, Solid Waste and SSMID
  • 7:30 AM - 8:30 AM
  • Municipal Service Center, Council Chambers
  • 1551 E. M.L. King Jr. Pkwy
  • Council workshop to discuss budget items.

FY2018 Budget Workshop

December 19, 2016

  • General Operating Budget
  • 7:30 AM - 8:30 AM
  • Municipal Service Center, Council Chambers
  • 1551 E. M.L. King Jr. Pkwy
  • Council workshop to discuss budget items.

FY2018 Budget Workshop

January 9, 2017

  • CIP and Debt Service
  • 7:30 AM - 8:30 AM
  • Municipal Service Center, Council Chambers
  • 1551 E. M.L. King Jr. Pkwy
  • Council workshop to discuss budget items.

FY2018 Budget Workshop

January 23, 2017

  • FY2016 Audit Report and Housing Services
  • 7:30 AM - 8:30 AM
  • Municipal Service Center, Council Chambers
  • 1551 E. M.L. King Jr. Pkwy
  • Council workshop to discuss budget items.

FY2018 Budget Workshop

February 6, 2017

  • Enterprise Funds – Sanitary and Storm Sewer
  • 7:30 AM - 8:30 AM
  • Municipal Service Center, Council Chambers
  • 1551 E. M.L. King Jr. Pkwy
  • Council workshop to discuss budget items.

Budget
The Budget Process

By law, the annual budget is required to be adopted on or before March 15 of each year. The adopted budget provides for program operations for the fiscal year that begins July 1 and ends on June 30 of the following year. In practice, the Des Moines City Council typically adopts the budget at the end of February or at their first meeting in March each year. Budget amendments must be prepared and adopted in the same manner as the original budget.

While the City is formulating the annual operating budget, a parallel process is taking place to develop a capital improvements program. Two separate, but interrelated documents are prepared during the budget process. Each communicates to stakeholders how the City intends to allocate resources to meet residents' needs. The first document, the Operating Budget, focuses on the annual departmental operations and includes summary information on the five-year capital improvement program. The document provides fiscal and program information for changes to the current fiscal year budget (amending) and projections for the following fiscal year budget (recommending). The second companion document, the Capital Improvement Program (CIP), focuses on projects that involve major one-time expenditures related to the city's infrastructure and economic development efforts. The local funding source is generally bonds. The CIP document provides project detail for changes to the current fiscal year, the proposed budget for the following year, and projections for the following five years.

Public input is provided at various Council meetings throughout the budget process and during the budget workshops from August through February. Additional efforts are underway to encourage public engagement with a series of town hall forums that will include topics on public safety, community enrichment, and infrastructure and development.

FY2017 Adopted City of Des Moines Budget - $612,421,165

Defined here, the budget is the expenditure authorization or appropriation authority, by City Council, of public funds for a specific purpose. The total $612 million budget can be better understood as a $520 million operating budget and a $92 million capital budget. The table below provides an operating budget breakdown by fund. The city uses six different fund types which allows for a segregation of resources to be used for specific actions.

City of Des Moines Budget
FY2015
Actual
FY2016
Adopted
FY2016
Amended
FY2017
Adopted
FY2017
% Total
General Fund $150,772,063 $157,004,711 $155,448,503 $158,973,765 26%
Special Revenue Funds 105,738,661 110,778,338 113,004,933 114,143,732 19%
Enterprise Funds 93,057,030 109,046,748 117,701,093 111,758,583 18%
Debt Service 104,268,702 92,957,987 108,308,506 90,053,941 15%
Internal Service Funds 39,824,556 42,843,897 42,898,540 44,118,079 7%
Reserved General Fund 618,357 230,500 897,700 725,992 <1%
Other Funds 0 27,400 27,400 27,400 <1%
Total Operating Budget $494,279,369 $512,889,581 $538,286,675 $519,801,492 85%
Capital Budget 64,306,071 94,632,697 93,720,104 92,619,673 15%
Total Budget $558,585,440 $607,522,278 $632,006,779 $612,421,165 100%

Operating Budget 

The $520 million operating budget includes funding for the day to day operations of enterprise operations (golf courses, housing services, parking system, sanitary sewers, solid waste collection, and storm sewer); the general fund (police and fire departments, parks and recreation, libraries, code inspections,general administration, and other activities); special revenue funds (such as Road Use Tax and various federal and state grant programs); debt service on general obligation debt; internal service operations that serve all the city departments; and expendable trust funds.

In the chart below, some operating budgets represent more than what many understand as daily operations. Examples include City Manager, Finance and Human Resources budgets. The City Manager Special Revenue budget accounts for economic development loans and projects. The Internal Service fund budget fund is related to the Equipment Maintenance Center. The Finance budget includes debt service and TIF payments for capital projects, Road Use Tax transfers, employee payroll taxes, and payments to the Des Moines Convention and Visitor's Bureaus and Bravo Greater Des Moines shown in Special Revenue, General and Other funds. Human Resources Special Revenue and Internal Service budgets are for employee health insurance and other benefits and tax transfers.

Capital Budget

The $92 million capital budget includes funding for major construction or acquisition projects financed in whole or part through the issuance of bonds, federal and state funds, contributions, and user fees. A separate Capital Improvement Program (CIP) document details all the projects and funding sources. Below are the categories utilized in the 6-year Capital Improvement Program -- which the City updates and publishes annually and can also be found on the City website.

Current Budget
Current Adopted Budget

Fiscal Year 2017 Adopted Budgets

Operating Budget Document