Holladay@20 Preparing for Tomorrow
In 2019, the City of Holladay celebrated its 20th anniversary of the 1999 official municipal incorporation. To prepare for the next two decades, the HOLLADAY@20 Preparing for Tomorrow process was initiated to determine a financial sustainability plan for the future.
The Plan not only considered the unmet needs of aging infrastructure, projected contract costs for public safety and public works services, and other community priorities but also aimed to address key challenges facing the City. The process was primarily led by a Citizen Advisory Group that evaluated scenario trade-offs and provided a recommendation to the City Council.
KEY CHALLENGES FACING HOLLADAY
Costs and maintenance over time
While the City has functioned well for the last 20 years, flat revenues and increasing costs over time mean Holladay now lacks budget to replace roads, storm drains, and other aging infrastructure elements that can no longer be repaired. The City has identified at least $75 million worth of currently unfunded infrastructure needs that will remain unaddressed without additional revenue.
Public safety and budget constraints
Currently 48% of Holladay’s total revenue is dedicated to public safety funding for police (31%) and fire (17%) and the cost of these contracted services is increasing. At the same time, the City has at least $75 million worth of currently unmet infrastructure needs. As Holladay assesses these costs, it’s clear that revenues aren’t enough to pay for needed improvements while also ensuring the City continues to serve residents well and meet ongoing obligations.
Current expenditures in the City budget do not reflect the total community need, including repair and reconstruction of public infrastructure. Without additional funding, Holladay’s infrastructure needs will continue to grow in number, urgency and cost of repair.
City’s share of property tax
Holladay currently receives about 10% of the total annual property taxes for a parcel in the City. To address current needs, City property tax revenue may need to increase significantly. When the City first incorporated in 1999, its share of property tax was approximately 18%, but this has diminished over time as other taxing entities have raised their tax rates and the City of Holladay has had no property tax increase for 20 years.
No property tax raises in 20 years
Since incorporation in 1999, Holladay has prided itself on staying within budget parameters set 20 years ago. The City has not raised property tax rates even once in the past two decades.
Comparatively lower tax rates
Holladay has significantly lower property tax and sales rates compared to neighboring cities. The average resident in Holladay with a median home value of $500,000 pays about $340 in annual property taxes to the City. Residents in several neighboring cities with the same home value pay more than twice this amount in annual property taxes to their city government.
Young city with old bones, rich history
Holladay is a young, vibrant city with old, fragile bones. Although Holladay incorporated as a city only 20 years ago, it is one of the oldest pioneer settlements in the Salt Lake Valley. This rich history comes with infrastructure that was built 30, 50, and even 100 years ago, much of which now has maintenance needs beyond simple repair.
Anticipated Project Timeline
- Launch HOLLADAY@20 process and form Citizen Advisory Group
- Identify needs; review fiscal efficiencies and mitigation efforts; and understand constraints
- Gather resident feedback on priorities and preferences
- Develop Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) of unmet maintenance and capital projects
- Build financial model that includes existing and projected City revenue, expenditures, and unmet needs
- Evaluate potential budget scenarios and funding tools
- Provide Citizen Advisory Group Recommendation for financial sustainability plan to City Council
- Initiate formal public process for City Council's next steps on recommendation and gather resident feedback
- Consider Storm Water Utility Fee
- Continue public process for City Council's next steps on recommendation and gather more resident feedback
- Consider Potential Property Tax Increase
- Prepare fiscal year 2021-2022 budget and the City's first-ever 5-year CIP
- Approve budget, revenue source(s) and complete steps to secure funding, including Truth in Taxation process for potential property tax increase
- Implement projects and provide progress updates to residents
- Annually update the financial sustainability plan to capture changes in revenue sources, verify community priorities and needs, and update project cost estimates and timing
- Continue transparency in use of funds through annual CIP adoption as part of the regular City budget cycle
The Holladay City Council is committed to providing residents with the City services and infrastructure needed for a safe, high-quality life. Implementing a long-term, revenue strategy, based on community priorities and preferences, is a Council priority.
From surveys and small group connections to open houses and town hall meetings, public engagement will remain a central focus of the HOLLADAY@20 process from beginning to end. Holladay residents provide valuable and essential insight. Residents collectively will determine the preferred way forward and ultimately, the support needed to take action.
Citizen Advisory Group
The Citizen Advisory Group was created by the Holladay City Council to assist and advise the Council on the identification of a long-term, financial sustainability plan to meet maintenance and capital project needs and address other financial challenges facing the City. The Group also provided guidance on a public education and engagement process. While the Advisory Group will provide important insight, the City Council retains all decision making and binding authority.
The Citizen Advisory Group consists of volunteer-citizens of Holladay, with representation from all Council Districts and perspectives from long-time and newer residents.
John Ashton, Chair
John Norton, Vice Chair
Julie (Yujie) McCracken
City Council Representatives
Mayor Rob Dahle
Councilman Paul Fotheringham, District 3
Agendas // March 13-2019; April 10-2019; May 8-2019; June 12-2019; August 14-2019; September 25-2019; October 9-2019; November 13-2019; January 8-2020; February 12-2020; February 19-2020; March 11-2020; April 9-2020
Meeting Summaries // March 13-2019; April 10-2019; May 8-2019; June 12-219; August 14-2019; September 25-2019; October 9-2019; November 13-2019; January 8-2020; February 12-2020; February 19-2020; March 11-2020; April 9-2020
The Citizen Advisory Group is no longer meeting regularly post April 9, 2020.