Frequently asked questions about the budget
How large is the City's budget?
The 2019 budget is $1.7 billion, a 10.3 percent increase from the 2018 adopted budget of $1.54 billion, including component units such as the Minneapolis Park Board, Municipal Building Commission, and Board of Estimate and Taxation.
How is the City's budget spent?
The single largest department in the City is the Public Works department. Public Works spends nearly 1 out of every 4 dollars, or 23 percent, of the City’s budget. This goes towards making sure residents, businesses, and visitors have clean water to drink, safe streets to drive on, and that other crucial infrastructure like sanitary and storm water sewers are in good operating condition.
The next largest portion of the City’s budgeted spending is for Capital Improvement and Debt Service – which combine to make up 26% of total expenses. Capital improvements are permanent long-term investments we make in the city’s assets – publicly owned roads, bridges, sewers, etc. – and debt service is another term for the money we owe for any funds that we borrowed.
After public works, the next largest departments are the Police Department (11%), Community Planning & Economic Development (7%), Fire Department (4%), and Convention Center (4%). All other departments combine to make up the remaining 25% of the budget.
How many City employees are there? How has that number changed in recent years?
The City has budgeted to pay over 5,269 full-time equivalents (FTEs) in 2019. An FTE is a statistical representation of the hours paid to one individual for a full 40-hour work week, each week for one full year.
This number has steadily grown over the past few years and just in 2017 reached pre-recession level highs seen in 2008.
What are the City's primary sources of revenue?
City revenue sources are varied and many. When most people think of City revenues, they think of property taxes, however property taxes only account for 25% of the 2019 budget.
In addition to property taxes the City is funded through licenses & permits – including for construction, rental property, food service and lodging businesses, and others; charges for services, such as inspection fees, animal care and control and adoption fees, zoning and development fees and related; sales and entertainment taxes; utility rates; revenue from the parking facilities we operate both on- and off-street; and Local Government Aid and other aids from the State of Minnesota.
How much does the City have in reserves or "rainy day" funds?
City financial policy dictates how much of a reserve, or “rainy day” amount, we hold in each of our funds. The General Fund and Internal Service Funds carry a 17% and 15% reserve respectively. Self-sustaining Enterprise Funds are required to carry a 25% reserve. The General Fund also has a required amount we’re to hold in contingency in case revenues fail to meet projections, or unplanned expenditures for emergencies pop up. General Fund contingency must be budgeted at no less than 1% of budgeted General Fund expenditures.
The City strives to balance the needs of responsible financial management by holding reserves for unforeseen circumstance with a responsibility to residents, businesses, and visitors to collect only those monies needed to deliver services and carry out our mission. It’s in balancing these two goals that we’re able to maximize public value.
Last updated Feb 5, 2019