How Would You Prioritize the

City's Budget?

Community Participatory Budget Tool

Welcome to the Budget Prioritization Tool for the City of Tucson!

This tool helps the City collect community input on how the City spends City Programmed budget dollars. City Programmed budget dollars are those that are not Restricted, in other words those not designated for a specific use (like Federal funding, grant funding, and/or some special revenue funds) and those not previously committed (like Tucson Delivers Safer City, Better Streets (Prop 101) and Parks & Connections (Prop 407)).

You'll find information about the Fiscal Year 2021 (FY21) tentative budget for departments that provide direct service to the community along with some information about the services those departments provide to the City. After review of the City Manager's proposed funding distribution you'll have an opportunity to share how you would distribute funds to these departments.

The Mayor and Council will review the feedback from this process, Budget Town Hall Meetings, and the City Manager's recommendation prior to adopting the FY21 Budget.

Budget Town Hall

On June 22 and 30, City Manager Michael Ortega and Chief Financial Officer Joyce Garland provided a PowerPoint presentation on the FY21 Tentative Budget. This presentation provides context for the budget information in this tool and additional information on revenues and the funding structure for the City.

FY21 Tentative Budget

Below you'll find the total FY21 tentative budget for the City of Tucson, and the breakdown of the budget between Restricted dollars and City Programmed dollars.

The charts show the largest five (5) budget distributions, individually, and combine the remaining distributions into an "other" category. When looking at the charts, you can hover your mouse over a section (or color) of the chart to learn more about that section. You can also click on the chart to see more details on what makes up each section.

The FY21 citywide tentative budget totals just over $1.7 billion and distributes funds to 18 departments and various citywide projects. This graph includes operating costs (those incurred during regular business, such as general and administrative expenses, research and development, and the cost of goods sold) and capital costs (the acquisition or construction assets with a multi-year life span).

Restricted Budget

This graph represents the restricted portion of the City's budget. It is made up of federal and state grants, federal funding, voter approved initiatives, debt service, bond obligations, pension obligations, committed capital, and funds held in trust.

There is no flexibility to reallocate most of these funds without voter approval and others have no flexibility at all.

*Note: This graph includes citywide debt service, but does not include $88,463,020 in debt service that is distributed among the departments. A breakdown of those funds can be found here: Department Specific Restricted Budget

City Programmed Budget

This graph represents the City Programmed portion of the City's budget. It is both the budgets for departments that provide direct services to the community and the budgets for internal service departments that support those service departments, excluding any restricted funding for debt service.

In the budget exercise, the City is asking for input on departments that offer a direct service to the community.

Direct Service Department City Programmed Budgets

Police Department Budget

The mission of the Tucson Police Department is to serve the public in partnership with our community, to protect life and property, prevent crime, and resolve problems. TPD's budget is driven by a progressive policing philosophy. TPD provides a wide range of services to the Tucson community beyond responding to 911 calls for service:

  • Conducting in depth investigation of crimes like homicide and domestic violence as well as non-enforcement functions like facilitating treatment for those suffering from substance use disorder
  • Delivering nationally recognized mental health support
  • Use of non-sworn community service officers to help your budget dollars go further in addressing community needs
  • TPD has developed unique and effective collaborations throughout the community to include non-profits, victim advocacy groups, social service organizations, and neighborhood and community leadership organizations.

Fire Department Budget

The mission of the Tucson Fire Department is to be excellent public safety professionals, compassionately providing our community an all-hazards response with integrity and courage through innovative prevention, education, and active intervention. To accomplish this mission, the Tucson Fire Department provides the following programming:

  • 24 hour a day, 365 days a year fire and emergency medical response. Including the fire truck & apparatus maintenance, training, equipping, and management of the City’s fire fighting compliment.
  • Emergency management services during disasters, coordinating the City’s response in partnership with local nonprofits, and local, state, and federal governmental agencies
  • Partnering with the community to provide fire protection and public education.

Public Safety Communications Budget

The mission of the Public Safety Communications Department is to save lives, protect responders, and serve our diverse community with integrity, professionalism, and compassion. To accomplish this mission, Public Safety Communications focuses on the following:

  • Answering 911 calls for both the City of Tucson and the City of South Tucson
  • Dispatching Tucson & South Tucson Police and Tucson Fire/EMS calls
  • Dispatching Fire/EMS calls for six (6) additional County entities whose geographical jurisdictions are proximal to the City’s jurisdiction.

Housing & Community Development

Restricted Budget

The mission of the Housing and Community Development Department is helping the residents of greater Tucson meet their needs through education and direct services, securing and maximizing resources, preserving and enhancing the assets of our neighborhoods, environment, and community. In short, Tucson: a home for everyone!

Housing & Community Development

City Programmed Budget

Key Programming:

  • Rental assistance, home ownership programming, creating affordable housing opportunities, fair housing, and fighting homelessness in our community.
  • Management of the City’s Community Development Block Grant programming, providing services such as employment programs, transitional housing, and other related programming.
  • Administration of the various assistance and community programming including partnerships and service agreements with other local agencies focused on serving the community’s development and housing needs.

Environmental Services Budget

The mission of the Environmental Services Department is to promote a healthy Tucson community by providing innovative and effective waste management and environmental protection services. To accomplish this mission, Environmental Services provides the following programming:

  • Residential and commercial waste disposal and reduction services, such as recycling, curbside trash pickup, and other services.
  • Operation of the City’s landfills.
  • Environmental management, such as groundwater protection, brownfield management, underground fuel storage tank mitigation, and other services.
  • Protecting the residents’ health, safety, welfare, and property values through City code enforcement.

Water Budget

The mission of the Tucson Water Department is to provide safe, reliable water and excellent customer service to our community in an efficient, affordable, and environmentally responsible manner. To accomplish this mission, Tucson Water focuses on the following:

  • Delivering safe drinking water and high-quality reclaimed water service to over 730,000 people, 24 hours per day, 365 days per year
  • Stewardship of the community's water supplies and conservation programming to meet current needs, save water for the future, and prepare for the challenges of a changing climate
  • Protecting public health in our drinking water while enhancing our natural and built environments
  • Addressing affordability and equity needs of a diverse community, including a viewpoint that water can contribute in numerous ways to a better quality of life, and
  • Partnering with the community to provide water education, green economy opportunities, and a sustainable future.

Transit Budget

The mission of the City's transit system is working together to improve the community’s quality of life by providing safe, efficient, reliable customer-focused public transportation. Its vision is for public transportation to become the preferred choice for travel in the region.

The system includes three modes of public transportation:

  • Sun Tran: Tucson’s fixed route bus system includes 41 routes (regular and express), a bus fleet of 237 vehicles including an all-electric bus and a frequent transit network with 11 routes operating 15 min or less.
  • Sun Link: Tucson’s award-winning streetcar operates seven days a week on a 3.9-mile route. Sun Link moves people though five unique districts including Downtown Tucson, 4th Avenue, and the University of Arizona
  • Sun Van: Tucson’s paratransit service provides transportation service to those individuals unable to use Sun Tran’s fixed route service due to their disability.

Transportation & Mobility


The mission for the Department of Transportation and Mobility is to create and operate a safe and reliable multi-modal system for moving people and goods throughout our community. The hard-working, dedicated staff serve the City of Tucson with integrity, efficiency, civility, courtesy, and respect.

Transportation & Mobility

City Programmed

We achieve this by providing core services to the community in the following areas:

  • Roadway & Landscape Maintenance: Includes pothole repair, landscape median islands, wash cleanup and sidewalk/curb repair
  • Traffic Maintenance: Includes traffic signals, poles, cabinets and street lighting
  • Capital Project Delivery: Project management, inspection and oversight of roadway construction projects
  • Complete Streets Planning and Programming: Includes the bicycle and pedestrian program, Complete Streets program management and Move Tucson project oversight

Information Technology Budget

The mission of Information Technology is to lead in the delivery of innovative technology, collaborating with other City departments to provide effective government services. To achieve this Information Technology provides the following services to City Departments and the community:

  • Analysis, development, implementation, and ongoing support of applications used throughout the City to provide services and administration.
  • Ongoing management, maintenance, and replacement of the City’s technology and communication infrastructure.
  • Facilitation of business process improvement and efficiency through the application of technology solutions.

Economic Initiatives Budget

The Office of Economic Initiatives delivers a comprehensive approach to economic development for the City of Tucson. Our primary mission is to grow and enhance the City’s vibrant economy and quality of life. We coordinate activities in the following core program areas:

  • Business Attraction
  • Business Retention & Expansion
  • International Trade
  • Small Business & Entrepreneurial Development
  • Annexation & Redevelopment

Parks & Recreation Budget

The vision of Tucson Parks and Recreation is to create vibrant city with a dynamic, proactive, and innovative system of parks, facilities, and services that enhance the quality of life for all Tucsonans. Our mission is to enrich our community through inclusive, innovative, fun programs, and safe, beautiful, sustainable places. To accomplish this mission, Tucson Parks and Recreation provides the following:

  • Parks, pools, splash pads, and recreation center facilities
  • Classes & programs
  • Therapeutic recreation
  • Senior activities
  • KIDCO after school and summer camps
  • Sports leagues
  • Volunteer opportunities

Planning & Development Services Budget

Planning and Development Services promotes safety, economic vitality and sustainability through building and zoning regulations. These standards protect people in the built environment from disease, fire, and other dangers associated with unsafe construction while promoting a healthy and equitable community. Our professional staff focus on:

  • The creation and implementation of a general plan and development codes through public engagement to ensure smart, sustainable, and safe development.
  • Building safety review and inspections to ensure projects meet minimum structural, electrical, mechanical, plumbing, accessibility, and energy standards.
  • Historic preservation of cultural assets to strengthen appreciation of Tucson’s rich heritage and historic resources.
  • Promoting economic growth by assisting new businesses prepare their buildings for public occupancy.

This is how the service department budgets are currently distributed.

How would you do it?

Submit Your Budget Now

Show the City how you would distribute $100 between the departments that provide a direct service to the community to help them better understand your, and the community's, priorities. Click on "City Programming: How would you distribute..." in order to edit your budget.

**NOTE: if you are using a Mac, please use this link: Budget Tool for Mac

Help the City Improve their Participatory Tools