August 5, 2021
The Honorable Chairman Orlando Gudes and
Members of Tampa City Council
I am pleased to present the Recommended Operating and Capital Budget for the City of Tampa (the “City”) for the fiscal year beginning October 1, 2021, and ending September 30, 2022, including the City’s Capital Improvement Program for FY2022 through FY2026.
Tampa is emerging from a year of challenges brought on by COVID-19 pandemic, extraordinary growth, impacts of a changing climate, and long-standing economic and social inequities. The fiscal year 2022 budget theme, “Strengthening Tampa’s Foundation,” reflects my administration’s desire to help solve these unprecedented challenges, is based on collaboration with City Council and from community input, and presents the opportunity to build upon our city's assets to strengthen Tampa's foundation. To achieve our vision, we have identified five strategic goals and core responsibilities that continue to guide us forward. The five strategic goals are:
- Strengthening Community-Centric Services
- Enhancing Workforce Development
- Increasing Housing Affordability
- Improving Infrastructure and Mobility
- Sustainability and Resilience
The strategic core responsibilities of my administration are to appropriately manage the City’s finances and resources while preparing for the City’s financial future and to collaborate with city agencies and external partners to finance major development projects.
The City of Tampa has had a championship year, just like our Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers and our back-to-back Stanley Cup-winning Tampa Bay Lightning. The City experienced welcomed economic growth as key economic indicators continued to move in a positive direction. The City’s taxable property value has increased for the ninth consecutive year, home sales have increased, and the unemployment rate has declined as the economy continues to improve. Additionally, the City’s credit ratings have improved significantly, having received 14 rating upgrades from Moody’s Investors Service, Fitch Ratings, and Standard & Poor’s since 2011.
Like a championship team, the City of Tampa is performing great. The City enjoyed its ninth consecutive year of increases in property values and other revenues such as sales taxes, electric franchise fees, electric utilities taxes, businesses taxes, Community Investment Tax, and in fuel taxes. Because of our success, there will be no increase in millage; for FY2022, our millage rate will remain at 6.2076 mills.
The FY2022 Budget reinforces the City’s steadfast commitment to strong fiscal stewardship. By increasing General Fund reserves to 24%, we are preparing to meet the challenges of “Strengthening Tampa’s Foundation” head-on.
We have done our part to keep costs within our means while providing innovative new programs and new ways to fix old challenges. We work hard to control our costs, but there are things outside of our control that significantly affect our bottom line, like rising healthcare costs and the effects of the financial markets. In January 2021, the Police Officers and Firefighters left the City’s health plan to form their own health care trust. While the City continues to contribute towards the cost of their health care trust, we are making every effort to control health care costs for our employees remaining in the City’s health plan.
The budget we are submitting will enable our City to rise together and address many years of deferred maintenance and service. At $1.8 billion, the FY2022 budget is $425.5 million more than the FY2021 budget of $1.4 billion. This increase is primarily due to:
- A General Fund increase of approximately $26.8 million due to negotiated labor contracts; increases in fire and police and general employee pension contributions; increased fire and police healthcare trust payment along with other health insurance and benefits; additional positions in for permitting, construction inspection, and contract administration; funding for parks and recreation repairs and maintenance; additional staffing and vehicles for emergency medical services; and citywide technology improvements.
- The additional required contribution of approximately $3.9 million into the community redevelopment areas (CRAs).
- Enterprise Funds increases of approximately $188.1 million due to an expansion of Wastewater, Water, and Solid Waste capital project funding over the last fiscal year.
- Other Governmental Funds increased by $163.0 million primarily due to funding from the American Rescue Plan Act, increased Stormwater and Transportation spending, and increased spending on citywide capital improvement projects (CIP).
- Governmental Debt Service funds increase by $41.7 to pay for Stormwater and Facilities CIPs.
While providing funding for all essential governmental services, we’ve also been able to include funds to start addressing several other important community projects.
- New government services center on Hanna Avenue in East Tampa to replace the leased facility on Lemon Street. This new facility will cost $95.5 million.
- East Tampa Recreation Complex design funds; $2.6 million.
- Fire station 24 design funds; $650,000.
- Police impound facility renovation design funds; $140,000.
The FY2022 budget also serves our city’s mission to focus on the following five strategic goals:
Strengthening Community-Centric Services
By ensuring equity and inclusion, this administration is working to ensure Tampa’s competitiveness. Tampa needs a solid foundation built on strong quality basic services that are connected to the community it serves. My budget achieves this goal by:
- Improving the Tampa Fire Rescue emergency medical service (EMS) response. Add three EMS first response vehicles and crews to stations in North and downtown Tampa and adding a heavy rescue vehicle to fire station 21 in New Tampa.
- Improving the Citizen Solution Experience. The City will procure and implement a customer experience solution software to centralize communications for enhanced effective and efficient business processes that meets the citizen expectation.
- Expanding the police body worn and car mounted camera programs.
- Establishing repair and maintenance programs for recreation equipment such as pool pumps and motors, equipment trailers, installed water features, athletic field fencing and netting, and dog park equipment.
- Stressing Administrative Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Measures. The Chief Diversity Officer will focus on: staff recruitment to ensure a pipeline of diverse applicants who can compete for employment opportunities, training opportunities to bring awareness to all city employees in order to serve as advocates and ambassadors for diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI), and resources to encourage compliance with DEI initiatives within the organization.
- Ensuring Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Community Impact. Align DEI initiatives within the community by establishing and overseeing the Mayor’s Advisory Councils to ensure ethnically diverse communities have a direct link into and a voice within City Hall. The City will also use arts and cultural affairs to incite creativity to share a culture of empathy, equity, and inclusion within the community, and working with community stakeholders to ensure underrepresented businesses are afforded with opportunities to compete on City contracts.
Enhancing Workforce Development
We envision a city where all Tampanians, young and older, newcomers and lifelong residents alike, benefit from our continued economic growth. Tampa will define pathways through higher education and certification programs to promote career readiness and foster a healthy workforce by:
- Providing opportunities to city employees and city residents. The Department of Human Resources and Talent Development will be launching the City’s first city-wide internship program. The government services center on Hanna Avenue will include training spaces for both city employees and city residents to improve their skills and marketability. Additional funds have been budgeted throughout the City for training and training materials.
- Implementing City of Tampa’s Workforce Pathways and Opportunities Program. The City will fund new programs to support a career pathways model and opportunities for our citizens such as Signing Day and the Apprenticeship Program. The Apprenticeship Program requires 12% of labor hours on a city construction project be performed by apprentices.
- Aligning Educational and Financial Resources. The City will obtain economic modeling software. This software is the workforce industry standard for supply and demand and enables us to enhance partnerships and grant opportunities.
- Championing Policy Changes from the Mayor’s Workforce Council. The City will work on many policy issues and pilot programs with the Mayor’s Workforce Council that will enable citizens to access tools to better engage, such as hiring for potential and addressing the digital divide.
Increasing Housing Affordability
Everyone needs a safe place to call home. Tampa will take an active and aggressive role to ensure there are housing options for Tampanians at all income levels. This includes:
- Increasing the supply of long-term affordable housing opportunities. The City continues its efforts to activate existing land and forge critical public/private partnerships for the expansion of our affordable housing inventory. With just under 1,000 units completed in 2020, the City continues to employ grant funding, tax credits, and the conveyance of City property for the creation of sustainable affordable housing units. With this year’s award of the Rome Yard RFP, the launch of the Mayor’s Infill Affordable Housing Initiative Phase II, and the acquisition of the former Army/Navy Store property in Downtown, the planned affordable inventory is on the horizon for construction.
- Continuing to address the at-risk population. The City will work to effectively engage the newly created Homeless Outreach Team to deliver services that are more widespread in partnership with Hillsborough County, Tampa Hillsborough Homeless Initiative, and nonprofit agencies to persons facing homelessness and provide resources to achieve more stable housing.
- Expanding the Owner-Occupied Rehabilitation Program. For more than 15 years, the City has offered grant funding to support the rehabilitation of owner-occupied homes to retain affordable housing stock, support generational wealth, and protect areas from slum and blight. The City will expand this program during FY2022 to serve additional families beyond the grant-specified income levels, offering support to families within 80% to 140% area median income.
- Establishing a Replacement Home Program. For those structures that exceed the threshold for repair under the City’s long-standing Owner-Occupied Rehabilitation Program, the City is launching a Replacement Home Program. The Housing and Community Development Division, through the utilization of grant funding will seek to replace three homes annually and provide income restricted homeowners with an opportunity to retain their property.
Improving Infrastructure and Mobility
Tampa will take the lead on transportation solutions for the future, developing a first-class transportation system that is affordable, accessible, and innovative. This budget advances us toward this goal by:
- Developing mobility plan priorities and project ideas as part of the MOVES Citywide Mobility Plan Phase 2. Over the next year, using a “grassroots” approach to community engagement, the City will continue to focus on a “listen first” approach to citizen’s input and will facilitate discussions within neighborhoods, at the corridor level, and on a broader citywide scale. The City completed its first series of “listen first” virtual sessions during FY2021. The City will be leading four quarterly open houses throughout the fiscal year. Additionally, the City will develop an Open Streets program to host fun, engaging community focused events of various types and scales that encourage walking, biking, and healthy, active living.
- Modernizing the Tampa Streetcar System and Extension to Tampa Heights. The City continues to make progress on updating the streetcar system. In FY2022, the City will conclude remaining project development and engineering efforts, including the National Environmental Policy Act process and Cultural Resources Assessment Survey requirements in support of establishing the Locally Preferred Alternative. The City will continue to collaborate with HART on updating the Tri-Party governance documents to reflect the new modernized and extended system.
- Integrating Existing Trail and Greenways. The City will execute a $24 million federal BUILD grant agreement during FY2022 and advertise the RFP for procurement of a design-build contract to complete final design and construction of the West River District multi-modal network and safety improvements for an extension of 2.6 miles of multi-modal facilities and the Tampa Riverwalk, which would result in over 12 miles of contiguous trails connecting Gandy to Ybor City. During FY2022, the City will complete construction of Phase 3 of the Green Spine Cycle Track connecting downtown to Ybor City and East Tampa. The City will also begin construction of the Floribraska Avenue complete streets project, which will feature a separate cycle track.
- Continuing to implement Comprehensive Infrastructure for Tampa's Neighborhoods, (PIPES) Phase I. The largest water and wastewater infrastructure plan in our City’s history. Using this plan to replace our aging infrastructure will help minimize traffic interruptions due to water main breaks and allow us to take a huge step towards a more resilient Tampa.
- Implementing a Vision Zero Quick Build Program for Low-Cost, High-Impact, Safety Improvements and Multimodal Infrastructure. The City will develop a formal program that expands the city’s work to use low-cost traffic control devices that can be installed quickly to improve the operations, safety and mobility experience of residents throughout neighborhood streets and adjacent collector and arterial roadways. These include installing enhanced crosswalks with rectangular rapid flashing beacons, dynamic speed feedback signs, all-way stop control at intersections, painted curb extensions, flex posts and other signs and pavement marking treatment to reduce posted speeds on higher speed roadways. Additionally, this program will look to expand the existing bicycle and pedestrian network to create a well-connected network of low-stress streets.
- Planning and Constructing Complete Streets. The City will continue to plan and construct complete streets with proven safety elements. The City will continue preparation of construction plans for the 30th Street and the El Prado Boulevard complete streets and safety improvements projects.
Establishing Sustainability and Resilience
“Strengthening Tampa’s Foundation” is the theme of this year’s budget. It requires the administration to address the city’s most urgent shocks and stresses. This budget advances us toward this goal by:
- Implementing Climate Action & Equity Plan. Advance incremental recommendations from the Climate Action & Equity Plan (currently in development, scheduled to be completed in December 2022) that reduce climate hazards to the community. Support robust front-line community climate education and justice opportunities through robust partnerships.
- Implementing Resilient Tampa. Support short-term priorities identified by the Resilient Tampa roadmap. Resilient Tampa was developed through robust community engagement, data collection, and expert consultation in FY2021. The process helped identify major shocks and stresses to the community, and in FY2022, we will strategically address several of the 58 initiatives.
- Transitioning the City to Renewable Energy. Continue transition of municipal fleet through strategic purchases of electric vehicles. Champion renewable and clean energy through development of solar at new and existing municipal facilities.
A championship team is built on a strong foundation and a desire to succeed. We have the desire to succeed. Everyone in my administration is working hard to improve the lives of Tampanians, but that is not enough. People are still being left behind; I recognize this. This budget is our guide to correcting many of these long-term inequities. By working towards our five strategic goals: Strengthening Community-Centric Services, Enhancing Workforce Development, Increasing Housing Affordability, Improving Infrastructure and Mobility, and Sustainability and Resilience, we will succeed at “Strengthening Tampa’s Foundation” and continue our championship ways.
Let’s get out there and win!