Tampa Convention Center

FY2018 Budget - Tampa Together

City of Tampa

Tampa Together


Adopted Operating and Capital Budget
The fiscal Year 2018
October 1, 2017, through September 30, 2018
Bob Buckhorn, Mayor Sonya C. Little, Chief Financial Officer Michael D. Perry, Budget Officer


Table of Contents

Part 1 -FY2018 Adopted Operating and Capital Budget

  • Mayor's Message
  • City of Tampa Organization Chart
  • Tampa City Council
  • Government Finance Officers Association Distinguished Budget Presentation Award
  • Acknowledgments


City of Tampa Overview

  • City of Tampa Overview

Budget Highlights

  • Budget Highlights

Related Financial Information

  • Related Financial Information
  • Summary of Revenues, Expenditures and Fund Balance
  • Financial Structure
  • Fund Structure Grouping
  • General Fund Revenue Comparison
  • General Fund Departmental Expenditure Comparison
  • Position Summary
  • General Government Program Benefits


Departmental Summaries

  • Art Programs
  • Chief of Staff
  • City Attorney
  • City Clerk
  • City Council
  • Contract Administration
  • Convention Center
  • Economic and Urban Development.
  • Community Redevelopment Agency
  • Facility Management
  • Logistics and Asset Management
  • Tampa Fire Rescue
  • Fleet Maintenance
  • Golf Courses
  • Human Resources
  • Human Resources -Risk and Insurance
  • Intergovernmental Relations
  • Internal Audit
  • Mayor
  • Minority Business Development.
  • Neighborhood Empowerment
  • Non-Departmental
  • Parking
  • Parks and Recreation
  • Planning and Development
  • Community Development Block Grant
  • Emergency Solutions Grant
  • HOME Investment Partnerships
  • Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS
  • State Housing Initiatives Partnership
  • Construction Services Division
  • Tampa Police Department
  • Public Affairs
  • Public Works and Utility Services Administration
  • Purchasing
  • Revenue and Finance
  • Solid Waste
  • Technology and Innovation
  • Transportation and Stormwater Services
  • Wastewater
  • Water

Financial Policies


  • Financial Policies
  • Balanced Budget
  • Fund Balance
  • Spending Order of Fund Balances
  • Reserve Policy-Governmental Funds
  • Reserve Policy-Enterprise Funds
  • Reserve Policy-Internal Service Funds
  • Budget Stabilization Reserve
  • Fees and Charges
  • Investments
  • Non-Recurring Revenue
  • Revenue Forecast
  • Payment in Lieu of Taxes/Payment in Lieu of Franchise Fees (PILOT/PILOF)
  • Revenue Diversification
  • Capital Improvement Program (Five-Year Strategic Plan)
  • Debt
  • Cost Allocation
  • Basis of Accounting and Basis of Budgeting
  • Grants

Salary Detail

See the Salary Detail section in the Adopted Budget Supplement located at www.tampagov.net/budget


  • Glossary
  • Acronyms
  • Questions and Answers
  • City of Tampa Statistical Information
  • Budget Supplement (Revenue FY2018)
  • Budget Supplement (Expense FY2018)

From Mayor Bob Buckhorn, Mayor

The Honorable Chairwoman Yvonne Yolie Capin and Members of Tampa City Council

I am pleased to present the Adopted Operating and Capital Budget for the City of Tampa (the "City") for the fiscal year beginning October 1, 2017, and ending September 30, 2018, including the City's Capital Improvement Program for FY2018 through FY2022.

This year's budget theme, "Tampa Together" reflects the City's belief that we are better together, that we are stronger together and that we will prosper together. The theme is reflective of the City's three primary strategic goals:

  • Changing Tampa's Economic DNA;
  • Continuing to empower and invest in our neighborhoods; and
  • Keeping our streets safe.

The City of Tampa has experienced welcomed economic growth as key economic indicators continue to move in a positive direction. The City's taxable property value has increased for the fifth consecutive year, home sales have increased, and the unemployment rate has declined as the economy continues to improve. Additionally, the City's credit ratings have improved significantly receiving 12 rating upgrades from Moody's Investors Service, Fitch Ratings and Standard & Poor's since 2011. However, like most American cities, Tampa is not out of the woods, yet. The impact of the Great Recession was severe and the recovery has been slow. As you know, property tax revenues are the primary source of money used to fund much of what the City does. From the Tampa Police Department and Tampa Fire Rescue to Parks and Recreation and many other departments in between, the City depends on property tax revenue to provide the service citizens expect. In 2007, the City generated over $166.2 million dollars in property tax revenues. That is $12.8 million dollars more in property taxes than the budget we submitted to City Council for 2017. Overall, the City has absorbed a total loss of more than $283.7 million dollars in property tax revenue over the last decade.

Due to "Save our Homes," the City's ability to recapture the revenue lost during the recession is severely hampered. Even though home values are rising again and have reached 2007 levels or higher, the City can only recapture a maximum of 3% a year. The reality is that in my first six years as Mayor, the City did not have a single budget started out in the black.
We have done our part to keep our costs within our means while providing innovative new programs and new ways to fix old challenges. The extensive and difficult staffing cuts that were made at the height of the recession have been made permanent. To some degree, we can control our costs, but there are things outside of our control that significantly affect our bottom line: rising health care costs, increasing pension costs that are tied to stock market fluctuations, and a more recent threat, the uncertainty in Tallahassee and Washington, DC. The decisions made in the Florida Legislature and the United States Congress will have a direct and tangible impact on the services we provide and the resources we have available. Sources of revenue reduced or eliminated, partnerships destroyed, and programs decimated are potentially looming and have the potential to affect Tampa's financial future. We are experiencing an unprecedented attack on our nation's cities and our right of self-governance that impairs our ability to secure our financial future.

Now, confronted with the impact of decisions made at the state and federal levels, we must continue to persevere. Together, we are charged with identifying ways to continue moving our City forward by investing in neighborhoods and providing the exceptional services and programs our citizens have come to expect, all while preserving our financial reserves. In order to accomplish this, we adopted a millage rate of 6.2076 mills for FY2018, an increase of 0.475 mills over the current rate of 5.7326 mills.

The budget we adopted and its millage rate increase will allow the City to answer our neighborhoods' requests for additional public safety and park and recreation improvements. It also meets our goal of preparing for the City's financial future. The FY2018 total budget is $969.2 million, and achieves the following objectives:


  • Creating jobs and growing our economy;
  • Protecting our children;
  • Enhancing quality of life;
  • Improving our infrastructure;
  • Retaining and rewarding our employees;
  • Balanced budget without using reserves;
  • Strengthening and empowering our neighborhoods; and
  • Preparing for the City's financial future.

At $969.2 million, the FY2018 budget is $63.3 million more than the FY2017 budget of $905.9 million. This is due to a $25.2 million increase in the General Fund to pay for public safety expenses including Tampa Fire Rescue Station 23 and the MacDill Air Force Base emergency medical service contract, replacement of fire apparatus, parks and recreation, personnel, and healthcare costs, and $4.0 million tax increment contributions to the Community Redevelopment Areas, among other reasons. The enterprise funds' budgets increased by $9.4 million to pay for Solid Waste, Parking, and Wastewater capital projects. All other funds increased by $28. 7 million primarily due to capital improvement project funding, and increased receipt of tax increment revenues from the Community Redevelopment Areas.

The FY2018 budget also includes a $134.7 million Capital Improvement Program that will address a significant amount of deferred infrastructure projects, including:

  • Parks and Recreation improvements of $6.9 million include nearly $2.0 million for the expansion of New Tampa Community Park Center; $300,000 for restrooms at Vila Brothers Park; $90,000 for the design of a new park in Tampa Palms; $640,000 for facility renovations at Wellswood Park; $600,000 for the expansion of the activity center in Williams Park; and $250,000 for new Little League facilities at Calvin Taylor Park;
  • The Transportation and Stormwater Services Department will receive $48. 7 million for capital improvement projects. Transportation projects will receive $14.4 million of which $4.8 million will be used for roadway resurfacing. Stormwater projects include Upper Peninsula Watershed Drainage Improvements -Dale Mabry/Henderson Trunkline project at $14.0 million, the Cypress Street Outfall Regional Stormwater Improvement project at $10.0 million, Poinsettia Pumping Station and Force Main Replacement at $1.4 million, Eastridge Pump Station Rehabilitation at $0.7 million, North Tampa Closed Basins at $0.5 million, and Rogers Park Drainage Improvements at $0. 5 million;
  • The Facility Management Division is continuing its $1.9 million Citywide rehabilitation program for facility renovation, roof replacement, and climate control upgrades;
  • The Water and Wastewater Departments will generate $54 million for additional capital infrastructure improvements. Planned improvements include projects at the David L. Tippin Water Treatment Facility, the Howard F. Curren Advanced Wastewater Treatment Plant, and Citywide pipeline replacement;
  • The Solid Waste Department will generate $18.9 million of which $17.2 million will fund additional construction costs for the new McKay Bay Transfer Station; and
  • Community Investment Tax will fund $6.2 million for Fire Rescue and Police vehicle replacements.


Economic Opportunity

The City continues its commitment to economic development by focusing on working together to move Tampa forward. Together, we focused on the City's and region's economic leadership, stability, and most importantly, business opportunity. Today, the City is smarter about how it does business, is more efficient and accessible to our citizens, and has streamlined our permitting process. City employees work hard every day to grow and retain existing businesses, attract new businesses, develop entrepreneurship, and make Tampa a more competitive city through a variety of initiatives, such as:

  • Investing $24 million in new technology to improve the efficiency of City workers;
  • Creating incentive packages to target high-tech industries and collaboration between public and private entities identified by the Tampa Hillsborough Economic Development Corporation;
  • Working with Tampa Bay WaVE business incubator to more than double the number of tech startups it supports;
  • Assisting the Innovation Alliance with its planned rebirth of North Tampa on the economic assets that are Moffitt Cancer Center, Florida Hospital, Busch Gardens, and University of South Florida (USF);
  • Continuing to implement the In Vision Tampa Plan that will shape development for the next 20 years;
  • Developing the City's landmark neighborhoods that are critical to the success of the entire City, including Ybor, Channelside, Tampa Heights, and Sulphur Springs;
  • Enhancing education programs to ensure that the City has a highly trained workforce that will attract new business;
  • Working with Strategic Property Partners on the development of Water Street Tampa, including the relocation of the USF medical school to downtown Tampa; and
  • Redeveloping the west bank of the Hillsborough River from Columbus Avenue south to Rome Avenue as West River, an extension of Tampa's Downtown.

Empowering Neighborhoods

To facilitate growth and ensure Tampa continues to evolve as a competitive city, Tampa needs a solid foundation built on strong quality basic services and strategic investments in our neighborhoods. City employees are committed to projects and services that will strengthen Tampa's neighborhoods, such as:

  • Preventing code violations from occurring by continuing the Landlord Training Program to educate the City's landlords on code requirements and minimum housing standards;
  • Preventing fire hazards, havens for illegal activity, and neighborhood eyesores by acquiring resources needed for demolishing dilapidated and abandoned buildings;
  • Utilizing programs such as "Bright Lights, Safe Nights" which has installed over 11,200 street lights throughout the City, and the Nehemiah Project to focus revitalization efforts on Sulphur Springs, the City's poorest neighborhood;
  • Cleaning up neighborhoods through projects like "Operation W.I.N. (Working In Neighborhoods)." Operation W.I.N has removed more than 9,300 tons of trash and debris from Tampa's neighborhoods;
  • Facilitating the development of safe, enjoyable public parks and green spaces through a series of parks initiatives aimed at adding to the quality of life in Tampa;
  • Renovating and expanding Julian B. Lane Riverfront Park, transforming it from a little-used park into a 23-acre welcoming gateway to the Hillsborough River for all of West Tampa;
  • Providing programs for teens, tweens, and kids such as "Stay and Play" which has kept 111,816 teenagers off the streets at night, along with aquatics programs, gymnastics and dance programs, and youth specialty camps; and
  • Working with the Center for Autism and Related Disabilities at the University of South Florida to launch the new Autism Friendly Tampa initiative. Public spaces, City facilities, parks, programs, and City staff, starting with first responders and Parks and Recreation teams, will be more friendly for those affected with Autism and related disabilities.


A Safe City Thrives

Each day, the City of Tampa Fire Rescue and Police, along with the Transportation and Stormwater Services and Neighborhood Empowerment Departments, look for better, more innovative ways to improve the quality of life for Tampa's citizens and visitors. City employees are dedicated to protecting and serving the citizens of Tampa. Some of the activities currently underway to meet this goal include:

  • Hosting quarterly "Community Conversations" across the City to strengthen police-community relationships, while promoting neighborhood safety through collaborative problem-solving;
  • Conducting "Bicycle Safety Rodeos" at local elementary schools and community events to promote safe cycling in an effort to reduce the number of crashes involving bicyclists;
  • Evaluating best practice approaches around the country and implementing new technologies that will help the City fight crime; and
  • Reducing crime by another 8. 9% for a total reduction of 23% in the last six years.

I am pleased to present a budget that is balanced and positions our great City for a prosperous future. The City continues to maintain healthy reserves while strategically investing in, and improving Tampa's infrastructure. Today, the city government is smarter, urban development is centered on the riverfront, our neighborhoods are stronger, and Tampa is recognized as the competitive City it is. Our continued success in these efforts will set the stage for how, and why, we build tomorrow's "Tampa Together."

Respectfully submitted,
Bob Buckhorn, Mayor


Organization Chart

The organization of the city is Citizens above the Mayor and City Council. All the departments are under the Mayor.

View all departments.

Tampa City Council Members

Districts One, Two and Three are at-large districts, as they represent all of the City of Tampa. Districts Four, Five, Six and Seven are represented individually.

  • Mike Suarez District 1 At-Large
  • Charlie Miranda District 2 At-Large
  • Yvonne Yolie Capin  District 3 At-Large Chair
  • Guido Maniscalco District 6
  • Harry Cohen District 4 Chair Pro-Tem
  • Luis Viera District 7
  • Frank Riddick - District 5

View City Council Information


Government Finance  Officers Association Distinguished Budget Presentation Award

presented to

City of Tampa Florida

For the Fiscal Year beginning October 1, 2016

Executive Director

Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada (GFOA) presented a Distinguished Budget Presentation Award to the City of Tampa, Florida, for its Annual Budget for the fiscal year beginning October 1, 2016. In order to receive this award, a governmental unit must publish a budget document that meets program criteria as a policy document, an operations guide, a financial plan, and a communications device.

This award is valid for a period of one year only. We believe our current budget continues to conform to program requirements, and we are submitting it to GFOA to determine its eligibility for another award.


Special recognition is hereby given to Citywide departments and the budget office for their exemplary efforts in the development and preparation of the City of Tampa FY2018 Budget.


Chief Financial Officer

Sonya C. Little


Budget Officer

Michael D. Perry, CGFO

Budget Office Managers

  • Peggy Curtin, CGFO
  • Ty Hawthorne, CGFO

Budget Office Staff

  • Sherry Austin
  • Carl Brown
  • Michael Cain
  • Giannina Carballa, CGFO
  • Ken Farrell
  • Susan Gobble
  • Catherine Hayes
  • Ray Herbert, II
  • David Lozo
  • Thomas Mccolgan
  • Amy Murphy, CGFO
  • Alicia Ortiz
  • Nicholas Pastue
  • Kelli Reed
  • Tom Richardson
  • Joe Robles
  • Jennifer Seth
  • Trinyce Smith
  • David Vance, CGFO
  • Praveen Varanasi
  • Andy Waitman

City of Tampa Overview


The City of Tampa (the "City") is located along Florida's west coast. The City occupies 113 square miles and serves a population of 377,165. Tampa is the largest city located in the metropolitan statistical area comprised of Hillsborough, Pinellas, Pasco and Hernando Counties, with over 2.9 million residents. Tampa is nestled in the center of the region, approximately 30 minutes from the Gulf of Mexico beaches to the west, and one hour from Walt Disney World and Universal Studios theme parks to the northeast. The region's natural environment includes miles of blue waterways, pristine beaches, brilliant sunlit skies, and exceptional weather. Tampa offers year-round cultural events and social activities for people of all ages and interests. Sports fans can enjoy football and hockey while art lovers can attend music and art festivals. The area offers everything from sunny beaches to world-class golf courses; from the excitement of Ybor City to serene strolls along scenic Bayshore Boulevard.

Tampa and surrounding areas provide a multitude of opportunities for residents to live, learn, work, and play. Major attractions in and around Tampa include Busch Gardens, The Florida Aquarium, and Lowry Park Zoo. Cultural venues such as Tampa Museum of Art, Tampa Bay History Center, Glazer Children's Museum, and Museum of Science and Industry capture the spirit, history, and creative value of Tampa.

Tampa is the home of numerous unique cultural, educational, and other entertaining annual events. Tampa's signature event, Gasparilla Pirate Fest, begins in January with a pirate invasion and celebrations spanning through March. This event, held for over a century, pays homage to Tampa's last great mythical buccaneer, Jose Gaspar, and includes festivities such as parades, marathons, art shows, and music and film festivals.

Other annual events include the Outback Bowl which provides championship college football in January and the Mayor's River O'Green Fest, Tampa's official Saint Patrick's Day event that takes place at Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park. For the occasion, Tampa water crews transform the Hillsborough River to a bright shade of green while residents and visitors enjoy a free family affair including live entertainment, children's activities, games, and more.

The Tampa Bay area is the proud home of several professional sports teams including the Tampa Bay Lightning, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Tampa Bay Rays, Tampa Bay Storm, and Tampa Bay Rowdies. The City of Tampa also hosts the New York Yankees spring training each year. Tampa offers a variety of post-secondary educational opportunities. The University of South Florida (USF) offers premier research opportunities in the fields of science and medicine, serves more than 49,591 students, and has an estimated annual economic impact of $11.5 billion. USF has proposed the construction of its new medical school and heart institute in downtown Tampa for an estimated cost of $153 million. The new Morsani College of Medicine and USF Health Heart Institute will bring together superior medical education, clinical care, and research to improve patient care and health outcomes. The new facility would provide immediate access to Tampa General Hospital, USF's primacy teaching hospital as well as proximity to USF'S Center for Advanced Medical Learning and Simulation (CAMLS) and the Health Tampa Bay Research and Innovation Center at CAMLS. The new medical school also anchors the plan by Tampa Bay Lightning owner and USF partner, Jeff Vinik, and his partner, Cascade Investments, to create an economically thriving downtown waterfront environment where people could live, work, and play. The University of Tampa (UT) is a private university situated on a beautiful 105-acre campus adjacent to the Hillsborough River and downtown Tampa. UT has an estimated annual economic impact of $1 billion with an enrollment for fall 2016 of 8,310 students. Tampa is also home to Stetson University of Law, which is located less than one mile from downtown. Hillsborough Community College (HCC) is a prominent state college offering over 160 associate degrees, career and university transfer programs. HCC has five primary campus locations throughout the City of Tampa and Hillsborough County.

The City offers a variety of cultural facilities to residents and visitors. Tampa's Lowry Park Zoo is accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums and has received recognition for providing the highest standards of animal care, conservation, and education. Additionally, the zoo has been recognized by the State of Florida as a center for Florida wildlife conservation and biodiversity. This family-friendly zoo features natural outdoor exhibits covering 56 acres for more than 1,200 animals from Florida and similar habitats, a Native Florida Wildlife Center and manatee hospital, rides, shows, hands-on interactive exhibits, and the Florida Environmental Education Center (Zoo School). Also accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, the Florida Aquarium is among the top aquariums in the world. Perfect for all ages, the 200,000 square-foot aquarium highlights more than 20,000 aquatic plants and animals from Florida and around the world. 

The David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts ("Straz Center"), located on the east bank of the Hillsborough River, is one of the largest performing arts institutions in the country and provides an environment for a wide variety of world-class events. The 335,000 square-foot Straz Center includes five theaters, a rehearsal hall, a coffee shop, and three restaurants. It boasts one of the nation's leading Broadway series and is nationally respected for producing grand operas, as well as presenting a wide variety of concerts, performances, and events.

Additionally, the Patel Conservatory, the only accredited performing arts school in the region, offers more than 100 performing arts classes in dance, theater, and music for students of all ages and experience levels.
The Tampa Bay History Center is located on the waterfront in the Channelside district and is one of the largest history museums on the west coast of Florida. The museum showcases exhibits covering 12,000 years of Florida history, focusing on the Tampa Bay region. Additionally, the Tampa Bay History Center is affiliated with the Smithsonian Institution, providing the museum access to the Smithsonian's collection of more than 138 million artifacts and support for educational programs. Other museums in the area include the Tampa Museum of Art featuring over 26,000 square feet of exhibition space focusing on antiquities as well as modern and contemporary art, the historic H. B. Plant Museum at the University of Tampa, the Contemporary Art Museum at USF, the Scarfone Gallery at the University of Tampa, the Veteran's Memorial Museum and Park, the Ybor City State Museum, the Florida Museum of Photographic Arts, and the Glazer Children's Museum.




In 1824, two months after the arrival of the first nonnative settlers, the U.S. Army established Fort Brooke to protect the harbor at Tampa Bay. Development of the region did not begin until the territory became a state in 1845. The City of Tampa first incorporated in 1855 and again in 1887. The discovery of phosphates nearby and the coming of Henry Bradley Plant's Jacksonville, Tampa, and Key West Railroad company during the 1880s led to continued economic growth in Tampa that lasted for the next fifty years. Tampa's growth was precipitated by the migration of major cigar manufacturers to Tampa. In 1886, Vicente Martinez Ybor established a cigar factory in Tampa, founding Ybor City. By 1900, Ybor City was considered the "cigar capital of the world."

By the beginning of the 20th century, Tampa had become an increasingly important port in the United States for economic and military activities. World War I brought several shipbuilding contracts to Tampa's shipyards and a rise in manufacturing brought Tampa to the forefront of Florida cities. During World War II, military installations MacDill Field and Drew Field (now the site of Tampa International Airport) were established. These sites have had a long-lasting impact on Tampa's physical and economic growth.

The automobile was partially responsible for a large settlement wave that occurred around 1923 - 1926. Florida's boom times resulted in explosive growth in Tampa, where the population rose to over 100,000 by the end of the 1920s. Land developers designed new subdivisions with amenities to attract buyers. Davis Islands, designed by D.P. Davis, was one such development, with a golf course and country club situated on these two man-made islands.

In 1939, the southwestern tip of Interbay Peninsula known as Catfish Point, was given to the War Department by the State of Florida and Hillsborough County. The airfield was established as Southeast Air Base and in 1941, renamed MacDill Army Air Field in honor of Colonel Leslie MacDill, a World War I aviator killed in the line of duty. During World War II, the airfield's mission involved training airmen to fly and operate bomber aircraft prior to deployment across the globe. Following the surrender of Germany and Japan, U.S. troops returning from overseas duty would land at the airfield. In 1947, control of MacDill Army Air Field was transferred to the newly formed United States Air Force, and in 1948, the facility was renamed MacDill Air Force Base (AFB).

Today, MacDill AFB is a full-service support facility for air fueling operations for military aircraft. The host unit for MacDill AFB is the 6th Air Mobility Wing, part of the Air Mobility Command's (AMC) Eighteenth Air Force. MacDill AFB is also home to the United States Central Command and the United States Special Operations Command and 31 other tenant units. MacDill AFB employs approximately 19,200 military and civilian personnel and has a total economic impact on the Greater Tampa Bay Region of approximately $2.94 billion annually.

Since the 1960s, the Tampa downtown business district has grown significantly. Major banks and corporations occupy large buildings high above Hillsborough Bay and have helped Tampa to evolve into a multi-cultural, diverse business center attracting people of all ages. The most recent growth in the City occurred in 1988 with the annexation of a mostly rural 24 square mile area between I-275 and I-75 now known as New Tampa.

Long-Range Planning Goals


Long-range planning is directed by the Mayor of Tampa and the City's administrators. The Mayor's decision-making is guided by the Tampa Comprehensive Plan, Community Vision Plans, Five Year Consolidated Plan for Housing & Community Development Programs, and other long-term development plans. These decisions result in the production of the five-year Capital Improvement Program.


The Tampa Comprehensive Plan is a twenty-year plan for the growth and redevelopment of the City of Tampa. The Tampa Comprehensive Plan is updated periodically to reflect changes in growth patterns, community aspirations, demands for City services, and the incorporation of new supplemental plans (i.e., InVision Tampa, Community Vision Plans, and the Urban Forest Management Plan). Major updates to the plan are made on a seven-year cycle, while minor revisions are made annually. This process allows the City to respond to changing fiscal, economic, or social conditions while continually aligning annual capital decisions with long-term goals and objectives.


In 2008, the City embarked on a strategic, inclusive community-based planning effort, which continues today. This effort produced long-range Community Vision Plans and associated Form-Based Development Codes that guide all private development and public improvement projects. Thus far, through the continued support of the Mayor and Tampa City Council, the City has directly funded the completion, adoption, and implementation of the following Community Vision Plans and related Form-Based Development Codes:

  • Greater Seminole Heights Vision Plan (GSH Plan) -The Greater Seminole Heights Planning Area encompasses approximately 4.4 square miles, located within 3.5 miles of downtown. The GSH Plan sets guiding principles for the community that establish the community identity, how and where redevelopment should occur, the significance of public realm design, and preservation of the local historic district and neighborhood character. The GSH Plan was completed and accepted by Tampa City Council in 2010. The related amendments to the Tampa Comprehensive Plan, which included amending the future land use category for over 1,300 parcels, were completed in 2010.
  • 40th Street Community Vision Plan -The Street Community Planning Area encompasses approximately 3.9 square miles, located within 6.5 miles of downtown. The 40th Street Vision Plan sets guiding principles for the community that establish the community identity, how and where redevelopment should occur, significance of public realm design, the importance of re-establishing the 40th Street commercial corridor, and retention of neighborhood character. The 40th Street Vision Plan was completed and accepted by Tampa City Council in 2010. The related amendments to the Tampa Comprehensive Plan, which included amending the Future Land Use Category for over 1,300 parcels, were completed in 2010.

  • Seminole Heights Form-Based Development Code -The Form-Based Code was adopted in 2011. The related amendments to the City's Official Zoning Atlas, which included rezoning over 10,000 parcels of land, were adopted in 2012 and 2013.
  • 40th Street Form-Based Overlay Development Code -The Form-Based Code is underway and will be completed in 2017. The related amendments to the City's Official Zoning Atlas included rezoning over 1,300 parcels of land.
  • Greater Tampa Heights Vision Plan -The Greater Tampa Heights Planning Area encompasses approximately 4 square miles, located within 1 mile of downtown. The planning process will begin in mid-to-late 2017.
  • Davis Islands Village Center Vision Plan -The Davis Islands Village Center Planning Area encompasses approximately 1 square mile, located within 1 mile of downtown. The vision planning process for the community plan is complete. Work to draft and codified the community plan will soon begin.

In 2010, the City embarked on a broad-based master planning effort for the Center City, yielding several long-range development plans. "InVision Tampa," funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, identified initiatives to stimulate economic development and spur community reinvestment. Community input was gathered from a diverse group of residents and business owners and incorporated into the initiatives. InVision Tampa will position Tampa to be one of the country's most attractive places to open a business, raise a family, and maintain a high quality of life while preserving historic districts and neighborhood character. Example projects and initiatives planned under In Vision Tampa include:

  • Julian B. Lane Riverfront Park -Redevelopment of the 23-acre park on the west bank of the Hillsborough River. The Park Redevelopment Plan was completed in 2015. Construction began in June 2016 and is anticipated to be completed by March 2018.
  • West River Redevelopment Plan -The West River Redevelopment Plan focuses on a 120acre area bounded by Rome Avenue, Columbus Avenue, the Hillsborough River, and Interstate-275. The plan recommends reconnecting the streets and blocks to each other, strong ties with public education and community services, a keen focus on linkages along the Hillsborough River to emergent activities south of I-275 in North Hyde Park to the waters of Tampa Bay, and more than 2,000 new residential units, with a variety of housing styles and affordability. Ultimately, over the next 10 years, the goal is to create a genuinely diverse and economically integrated community. The Redevelopment Plan was completed in 2014 and updated in 2016.

  • Center City Vision Plan -The Center City Vision Plan establishes a 20-year blueprint for making downtown Tampa and surrounding neighborhoods a community of livable places, connected people, and collaborative progress. The Hillsborough River forms the heart of the plan, reflecting the desire to make the river the focus of the community. The plan advances five key themes -A reimagined river, strong center city neighborhoods, connecting neighborhoods to each other and to the river, a vital mix of uses and a strong pedestrian environment, and places that will support transit. The Center City Vision Plan was completed in 2012. The new Central Business District Form-Based Code was adopted and made effective on June 1, 2016. This is the first, complete re-write of the downtown regulations since 1989.
  • Nebraska-Hillsborough Corridor Plan -The Nebraska-Hillsborough Corridor Plan addresses development issues along 5.1 miles of an important transit corridor in Tampa's Center City from downtown north along Nebraska Avenue to Hillsborough Avenue, and east along Hillsborough Avenue to 22nd Street. The Corridor Plan was completed in 2013 and is an extension of the Center City Plan.

The City of Tampa Urban Forest Management Plan was developed through a collaborative effort of the City, the University of Florida (UF), the University of South Florida (USF), Hillsborough County Extension, business and professional organizations, builders and developers, neighborhood associations, and citizens. The Urban Forest Management Plan is a strategic plan with a 20-year planning horizon defining criteria, performance measures, and alternatives for action; and, by following an adaptable, quantifiable, and science-based approach, the City of Tampa will address the challenges to growing and maintaining a healthy urban forest in an efficient and sustainable manner. Management of the urban forest, with its long biological life cycles and slow growth, is a long-term investment.

The Urban Forest Management Plan's framework includes intermediate 5-year Citywide work plans, and in turn, provides direct input into short-term annual departmental operational plans and decision-making. The City, USF, UF, and UF's Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences/Hillsborough Extension Service completed a tree canopy study and urban ecological analysis, as required by City Code, in 2006 and 2011. The 2016 study is currently underway. Results are anticipated for the end of 2017. Results from the 2011 studies indicated an increase in tree canopy from 2006 to 2011 of 2-3% to a Citywide canopy coverage of 32% in 2011. Each 5year study is required to monitor the tree canopy and urban forest and collect the data required to evaluate the performance of the Management Plan. The study will also quantify the contribution of trees to property values and examine the growth and condition of tree canopy on parcels where 

trees were permitted for removal five or ten years prior to the study. The Urban Forest Management Plan's framework will serve as one of the primary tools in the revisions and updates of the City's Tree and Landscape Codes.
Capital Improvement Program (CIP) projects are initially identified by departments based on infrastructure needs, industry standards, the Tampa Comprehensive Plan, development plans like those produced through the InVision Tampa, Community Vision Plans, Urban Forest Management Plan process, and each department's experience. The departments submit CIP requests during the annual CIP budget process to the Budget Office. The Budget Office balances all CIP requests against available funds and makes its funding recommendations to the Mayor and City administrators. This process culminates in the five-year Capital Improvement Program that is part of the City's annual budget as approved by City Council. Capital projects relating to level of service requirements are then adopted into the Capital Improvement Schedule of the Tampa Comprehensive Plan per state requirements.


Performance Measurement Dashboard


The City publishes service delivery and quality of life measurements that serve as a report card to demonstrate the City's pledge to hold service delivery to a high standard. Performance measurement in the public sector is an ongoing, systematic approach to improving results through evidence-based decision making, continuous organizational development, and a focus on accountability for performance. Performance measurement is integrated into all aspects of an organization's management and policy-making processes, transforming an organization's practices so it is focused on achieving improved results for the public.


The City publishes performance metrics on the internet at www.tampagov.net/metrics for the following services:


  • Fire Rescue
  • Fleet Maintenance
  • Neighborhood Empowerment
  • Planning and Development
  • Police
  • Solid Waste
  • Stormwater
  • Transportation
  • Wastewater
  • Water

Goals for the City


The City of Tampa is committed to offering the best services to local businesses and citizens. To meet this commitment, the City has identified broad goals that guide the City's actions. These goals will assist the City with meeting current challenges while providing the necessary direction for long-term prosperity. The goals are as follows:

  • Changing Tampa’s Economic DNA
  • Continuing to empower and invest in our neighborhoods
  • Keeping our streets safe


Goal 1: Changing Tampa's Economic DNA


The City continues its commitment to economic development focused on moving Tampa forward. Together, we focus on the City and region's economic leadership, stability, and most importantly, business opportunity. Today, the City is smarter about how it does business, is more efficient and accessible to citizens, and has streamlined its permitting process. City employees work hard every day to grow and retain existing businesses, attract new businesses, develop entrepreneurship and make Tampa a more competitive city through a variety of initiatives, such as:


  • Investing $24 million in new technology to improve the efficiency of City workers; 
  • Creating incentive packages to target high-tech industries and collaboration between public and private entities identified by the Tampa Hillsborough Economic Development Corporation;
  • Assisting the Innovation Alliance with its planned rebirth of North Tampa on the economic assets that are Moffitt Cancer Center, Florida Hospital, Busch Gardens, and USF;
  • Continuing to implement the InVision Tampa Plan that will shape development for the next 20 years;
  • Developing the City’s landmark neighborhoods that are critical to the success of the whole City, including Ybor, Channelside, Tampa Heights, and Sulphur Springs;
  • Enhancing education programs to ensure that the City has a highly trained workforce that will attract new businesses;
  • Working with Strategic Property Partners on the development of Water Street Tampa, including the relocation of the USF medical school to downtown Tampa; and
  • Redeveloping the west bank of the Hillsborough River from Columbus Avenue south to Rome Avenue as West River, an extension of Tampa’s Downtown.


Economic Development Initiatives

Changing Tampa’s Economic DNA is a focal point of the administration’s economic development plan. The City is committed to economic development that is focused on building an environment with a strong local economy that creates opportunities for its citizens. The City is committed to attracting new businesses, supporting entrepreneurship, and retaining and growing existing businesses. Emphasis has been placed on the development and growth of the City’s urban core and downtown waterfront area in the belief that a strong urban core generates opportunities for the entire city. A goal of the City is to remain flexible and agile to take advantage of market opportunities as they arise to enhance the overall economic health of the city.


Water Street Tampa

In December 2014, Strategic Property Partners, in partnership with Cascade Investments, announced plans for redevelopment of approximately 40 acres in downtown Tampa. The mixed-use development will include a new biotech hub, new office centers, a walkable neighborhood, and will enhance the waterfront. Anchored by the University of South Florida’s Morsani College of Medicine and its new Heart Health Institute, under construction, the Channelside development project will be the world’s first WELL-Certified city district designed with a focus on health and wellness. Construction on infrastructure improvements, funded by property tax revenues generated downtown, is underway and expected to be completed by early 2020.


West River Redevelopment

The West River Redevelopment Plan covers a 120-acre area bounded by Rome Avenue, Columbus Avenue, the Hillsborough River, and Interstate I-275. The plan focuses on reconnecting the streets and blocks to each other and increasing access to Julian B. Lane Riverfront Park and the Hillsborough River. The project promotes strong ties with public education and community services and plans for more than 1,600 new residential units, with a variety of housing styles and affordability. City leaders envision West River as a walkable, mixed-income community that will be further enhanced by the remaking of nearby Julian B. Lane Riverfront Park.


Julian B. Lane Riverfront Park

The 25-acre park, completed in 2018, provides open green spaces for the community to congregate, and experience outdoor concerts and events. The project also added new amenities such as tennis, basketball, sand volleyball courts, a multi-use athletic field, areas for lacrosse and soccer, and a performance pavilion with green spaces for concerts. The project, which cost approximately $35.6 million for construction, also improved and reconfigured the existing seawall and added floating docks to provide water access for kayaks, boating, and aquatic sports.


Building Activity

In FY2018, the Construction Services Division permitted construction projects valued at over $2.3 billion. Moreover, the City has permitted over $14 billion in projects since 2011. The City anticipates $10.4 million in permitting revenue to be generated for FY2019. This decrease is attributed to higher interest rates and the completion of large construction projects, resulting in a slow-down of permitting activity for FY2019.

Tampa will sell one of its last City-owned Construction Permit Revenues by Fiscal Year blocks to New Orleans-based HRI Properties for $7.6 million. HRI will build a mixed-use building across the street from City Hall with 345 hotel rooms, a 217-space garage, and retail and amenities on the first floor.

Tampa‐based developer, SoHo Capital, acquired the 37‐acre site immediately north of downtown and is moving forward to build a historic‐style, mixed‐use neighborhood called The Heights. The Heights is anchored by the restored historic Armature Works brick warehouse, the Heights Public Market, a 22,000 square foot innovative industrial market featuring an open floor plan with communal seating surrounded by restaurants and including event and exclusive coworking spaces. Plans for surrounding it with offices, a boutique hotel, grocery store, 1,600‐plus homes, and a park along the waterfront are currently underway. SoHo Capital completed infrastructure improvements and recently opened The Pearl for apartment leasing, a 314-unit, mixed-use building.

Construction continues on the Encore project, a 30-acre mixed-use, mixed-income project located immediately north of the central business district. Ella Senior Residences consists of 160 units and the Trio Apartments at Encore consists of 141 family units. Both are open and fully occupied. Reed Senior Residences, comprised of 158 units for seniors, opened for business in June 2015. The Tempo Apartments, a 203- unit apartment building for families, is expected to open in Fall 2018.

Construction Permit Revenues by Fiscal Year:

  • In 2015 there were $9.4 million in permit revenues
  • In 2016 there were $10.1 million in permit revenues
  • In 2017 there were $9.9 million in permit revenues
  • In 2018 there are projected $10.5 million in permit revenues
  • In 2019 there are $10.4 budgeted permit revenues

Economic Outlook

The City of Tampa’s budget is affected by a variety of economic factors that are significant drivers of demand for City services and of major revenues. The following is a brief discussion of historical and current key economic indicators, including employment and population growth, employment industries in Tampa, unemployment rate, and the performance of two major economic engines (Port Tampa Bay and Tampa International Airport)


Major Employment Industries in the City of Tampa

  • Manufacturing - 5%
  • Construction & Mining - 6%
  • Trade, Trans & Utilities - 18%
  • Information - 2%
  • Financial Activities - 8%
  • Professional and business services - 19%
  • Education and health services - 15%
  • Leisure and hospitality - 11%
  • Other services - 4%
  • Federal government - 2%
  • State and local government - 10%

As of March 2018, the employment industries chart identifies the various industries operating in the Tampa Bay region. The three largest employment sectors are professional and business services (19%), trade, transportation, and utilities (18%), and education and health services (15%). The metropolitan statistical area economic indicators for Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater is expected to show moderate growth. According to the University of Central Florida’s Florida & Metro Forecast 2018-2021, population growth will average 1.4%, employment growth is expected to average 2.5% annually, and the unemployment rate is expected to average 4.0% through 2021.


The City has experienced an ongoing economic recovery. Throughout the past few years, the Tampa Bay metropolitan statistical area (MSA) has stabilized at an unemployment rate of 3.3%. Within the past six years, the City has performed better in employment metrics than the state of Florida and the U.S. as a whole, averaging a lower unemployment rate and higher employment growth.


Tampa Bay MSA Unemployment by Year

  • 2013 - 6.9% unemployment rate
  • 2014 - 6.0% unemployment rate
  • 2015 - 5.2% unemployment rate
  • 2016 - 4.6% unemployment rate
  • 2017 - 3.9% unemployment rate
  • May 2018 - 3.3% unemployment rate

Port Tampa Bay (the “Port”), a significant economic engine in West Central Florida, serves as one of the nation’s most diversified ports, providing a $17.2 billion annual economic impact and over 85,000 jobs to the region. The Port serves as the petroleum and energy gateway for west/central Florida, the largest steel port in Florida, one of the world’s premier fertilizer ports, one of the top shipbuilding and repair centers in the Southeast, and a major cruise home port.


Port Tampa Bay, Florida’s largest cargo tonnage port, handled 36.7 million net tons of bulk cargo, and 1.4 million net tons of general cargo, and exceeded $55 million in operating revenue in the Fiscal Year 2017. It serves as the seventh-largest cruise port in the U. S., serving over 960,000 passengers in FY2017. Port Tampa Bay has committed to spending $380 million in the next five years, adding new cranes, refrigeration complexes, and additional infrastructure to expand its capabilities. Furthermore, Carnival Cruise Lines and Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines recently initiated passenger service to Cuba from Port Tampa Bay.

Bulk Cargo Net Tons (by Fiscal Year)

  • FY 2013 - 33.8 million tons
  • FY 2014 - 35 million tons
  • FY 2015 36.2 million tons
  • FY 2016 - 35.5 million tons
  • FY 2017 0 36.7 million tons