The City of Tacoma, with support of our Mayor and City Council, continues to move on a strong fiscal path to ensure your municipal government is allocating resources judiciously.
The City of Tacoma was once again recognized for its leadership in measuring quality of work and services provided, and for continuing to prioritize community engagement to help guide the work we do each day.
The International City/County Management Association (ICMA) recognized the City of Tacoma for its performance management efforts with a Certificate of Excellence from the ICMA Center for Performance Analytics. Certificates were awarded at the levels of Achievement, Distinction and Excellence. Tacoma was one of 29 jurisdictions receiving the Certificate of Excellence, the highest level awarded.While making sure your tax dollars are spent wisely to address the issues that matter most to you, the City of Tacoma continues to excel in the way it manages its investments.
Developed and adopted by the City Council in December 2014, the 2015-2016 Biennial Budget is balanced and maintains current service levels while directing more money toward street maintenance, repairs and capital projects. The City’s total 2015-2016 Budget is $3.08 billion. $425 million is allocated to the General Fund which maintains healthy financial reserves of 15 percent of annual expenditures. Savings from 2013-2014 will be used to fund one-time reinvestment and redevelopment efforts to cultivate a more walkable community and vibrant business districts.
The 2015-2016 Biennial Budget reflects the City of Tacoma's continued commitment to strong financial responsibility. It was developed with a distinct focus on what our community has said it wants, and is a framework for how we plan to deploy City resources to help realize these community priorities.
With an eye toward cultivating a better business climate, the City of Tacoma has worked hard to ensure that current regulations make sense and that businesses have the resources they need to thrive.
Working in collaboration with the taxi industry, ride share companies Uber and Lyft, the disability community and other stakeholders, the City has overhauled existing taxi regulations. In cooperation with Pierce County, dual licensing processes were implemented to foster a better business environment with lower costs for all for-hire drivers and vehicles. A new ID card system was also created for for-hire drivers, security personnel and door-to-door solicitors, and a simplified mail-in taxicab driver license renewal process was implemented.
With its world renowned museums, top-notch meeting and convention spaces, theater and performance venues, and headliner concerts, Tacoma has drawn visitors from across the globe.The Tacoma Dome, which recently celebrated its 30th anniversary, enjoyed an 80 percent increase in merchandising sales revenues, a 15 percent increase in overall event related revenues, a 5 percent increase in occupancy, and had multiple sold-out shows including Lady Gaga, George Strait, Taylor Swift, Katy Perry, Winter Jam and Fleetwood Mac.
Funding was procured to improve City-owned theaters, which included the renovation of the Pantages stage, loading dock and backstage areas. Upgrades to these historic structures will continue through 2018, the 100th birthday of the Pantages and Rialto theaters.
At Cheney Stadium, which now sports new classic entry signage, a left field group party deck called The R Yard was added with magnificent views of Mount Rainier. The R Yard will accommodate over 30,000 fans over the course of a season.
Public safety continues to be a top priority for the City of Tacoma, and working with residents and forming partnerships is the basis of community-oriented policing efforts. The City was awarded a $3.4 million U.S. Department of Justice Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) grant to fund 10 police officer salaries and benefits for three years without the need for a local cash match. The City’s application received the highest rating in the state of Washington, and was one of only 10 in the state to receive COPS grant funding.
The Tacoma Police Department was awarded a $224,850 U.S. Department of Justice Cold Case Grant to help resolve cold cases dating back to 1961. Over the last biennium, the Tacoma Police Department’s Cold Case Unit resolved 14 cold case homicides and eight cold case rapes. A total of 24 cold case homicides have been resolved since the unit’s inception in 2011.
The City of Tacoma was awarded a $3.4 million Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) grant to fund 20 firefighter salaries and benefits for three years without the need for a local cash match. The City was also awarded an amendment to the grant as a part of the Veterans Opportunity to Work Act, in the amount of $575,380, to fund five of the 20 firefighters who are military veterans, for one additional year. The City was one of only eight Washington State jurisdictions to receive a SAFER grant.