With the reduction in gaming and property tax revenues adjustments are being made and will continue to be made to right size City staff and operations. Several user fee increases were adopted in the budget process. There was a reduction in the tax rate that will provide no increase in taxes for the average homeowner. We have used judicious debt to move large needed projects forward and as that debt is retired in the next few years our picture brightens substantially. There will be a little pain for all of us to share for the next couple of years.
Please keep in mind that we are still providing great services at low cost and that the City of Dubuque uniquely had no downgrades in the value of our real estate during the last decade when nearly everyone else lost equity in their homes and property. While we have added debt, the debt has been used to fund projects that have added value to your community.
It is important that we understand that municipal debt has known dates, terms and sources of funds for repayment. It does not linger like federal debt can and there is no deficit in our operating budget. Indeed, the City of Dubuque has an award-winning budget process and has submitted a balanced budget every single year.