Real estate and personal property taxes are the city’s two main sources of revenue, comprising nearly half of the city’s general revenue sources. All other taxes, fees, licenses, and earnings are the remainder of general revenues. State and federal revenues comprise about 10 percent of General Fund revenues, primarily as categorical aid in the Human Services (social services) area.
Many city revenues, while paid by citizens as taxes to the state and federal levels, come back to the city in the form of aid programs or grants. Each year, the city or city agencies receive funds from state and federal sources for everything from transportation projects to education assistance. Even though these programs are paid for with revenue derived from a citizen’s income and sales taxes, the city usually has little choice in deciding on what to spend the money. The federal and state governments establish the policies and guidelines for these programs that the city must follow in order to be eligible to receive these grants and aid.
While it is still true that much of government revenue is derived from local taxes, user fees are a source of funds for selected public services. Water, sewer, garbage collection, and certain recreation programs are a few examples of public services whose costs are paid for primarily by user charges. If you have any questions, please email the Department of Budget and Evaluation.