City Budget

The City of Palo Alto's budget, as approved by the City Council, reflects resource allocations consistent with City policies, goals, and priorities.  It also communicates to our citizens and staff an action plan for the upcoming fiscal year, which includes program goals and the standards by which the delivery of services to the public will be measured.

Budget Documents

View archived budget documents.

Budget Process and Community Engagement

Budget Coversation Logo_2021-01.pngJoin the City's budget conversations where staff will share details about the City's budget including an update on the Fiscal Year 2021-22 Proposed Budget. Be informed, share input and learn about other ways to engage on the budget deliberations with the City Council through May and June. The Council will adopt a new FY 2021-22 budget on June 21 and the City's new fiscal year begins July 1.

Watch previous meeting recordings on the City's YouTube Channel.

Budget Overview

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The City Manager releases a proposed budget every April in accordance with the City’s Charter, which include both a proposed Operating Budget and a proposed Capital Budget along with a five-year Capital Improvement Plan (CIP). The City’s Operating Budget supports services such as library, recreation, art and human services, and fire and police. The City’s Capital budget is focused on capital and infrastructure project investments.

Of the City of Palo Alto’s General Fund operation budget, sixty percent of General Fund revenues go towards providing essential City’s services such as police and fire services, community and library services and more. The General Fund comprises approximately 27.2% of the total citywide expense budget. About 58% of all annual General Fund revenues are from taxes such as Property Tax, Sales Tax, and Transient Occupancy Tax. The remaining revenue sources include fees and charges from residents and businesses, charges to other funds for services provided, and rental income. The capital budget accounts for funding programmed to build, repair, and upgrade the City’s infrastructure such as roads, buildings, electric transmission lines, gas and sewer pipes, and the City’s fleet of vehicles.

“Our City at Work” is a services guide and complements the City of Palo Alto’s budget, highlighting the work that our staff do every day to support all Palo Alto residents. From our Fire Department to our Information Technology Department, we work together to deliver cost-effective services in a personal, responsive and innovative way.

View the City Services Guide(PDF, 27MB).

City of Palo Alto Organizational Chart (as of May 4, 2021): The Organizational Chart (as of May 4, 2021)(PDF, 824KB) displays a point in time of the divisional structure and manager to employee span of control for each City department. These charts display City Council authorized staffing levels as of May 2021, and do not show staffing changes recommended in the FY 2022 Proposed Budget, as those changes have not been approved by the City Council. These charts show vacant positions as of May 2021, but do not show temporarily approved staffing needs as a result of vacancies across the City.

FY 2022 Budget Process

Budget Meetings
FY 2022 Budget

Date Item Location Description and Meeting Materials

Monday, May 3

City Council

Teleconference

City Manager Comments Reviewing the proposed Capital and Operating

Budgets and notices the start of public budgetary discussions in May.

Tuesday, May 4 Finance Committee Teleconference
Wednesday, May 5 Survey Released N/A  FY2022 Proposed Budget Online Survey Released

Tuesday, May 11

Finance Committee

Teleconference

Budget Hearing

Wednesday, May 12

Finance Committee

Teleconference

Budget Hearing

Monday, May 17

City Council

Teleconference

Finance Committee Budget Overview with the City Council

 Friday, May 21 Survey Closes N/A Online Budget Survey Closes at 12 p.m.

Tuesday, May 25

Finance Committee

Teleconference

Budget Wrap-up

 Monday, June 7 City Council Teleconference

Finance Committee's Recommended FY 2022 Operating and Capital Budgets, and Municipal Fee Schedule

Monday, June 21

City Council

Teleconference

City Council Budget Hearing

Archived FY 2021 Budget Documents and Background

City Budgets

FY 2020-2021 Budgets

 Budget Survey Results

Thank you to the over 1300 survey respondents for your input!

May 11 Budget Summary Presentation

Watch the May 11 Budget Summary Presentation by the City’s City Manager and Chief Financial Officer.

Budget Hearing Videos

Budget Hearing Materials

Staff Reports and Memos At Places

Agendas and Presentations

Presentations Postponed