Draper City is the third lowest taxed city in the State. We are almost built out on the residential side. Our future quality of life and low taxes depends on how we finish our commercial sites. Keeping taxes low yet still providing quality government services and government amenities takes planning and vision. To secure our future we need to make sure we have high value developments on our remaining commercial areas.
We need quality employers and retail business in our city to increase our sales tax revenue. One third of our city budget comes from sales tax! Sales tax is our lifeblood and because of this, quality development plays a central role in our future.
The potential value of the prison site is staggering. To understand the potential of the prison site and the economics of high quality development from a property tax standpoint consider what has happened to our Frontrunner site – the 135 acres where Ebay is located – in just five years. In 2012, the property tax value of the Frontrunner site was a mere $6,055,340.00. Today, five years later, the taxable value of the site is $225,000,000.00! It will go up in value by the end of 2017 by at least another hundred million dollars with a projected value at buildout near a billion dollars. That does not include the jobs the site has created. Literally thousands of new jobs located in our city.
Smart Retail Development: Now think about what smart retail planning looks like. Lets use RC Willey as an example. We went after RC Willey and we competed with several other cities to get them. We made a deal with them to incentivize them to come to Draper. Our deal was to share 50% of our portion of the sales tax revenue they generated up to a set dollar amount. We thought it would take five years to hit the number. Well, we just paid it off in three years! So now we get 100% of the sales tax revenue from that store two years earlier that we projected. Before the store we had no sales tax and now we do and it is significant. We do these kinds of deals all the time. I look for these opportunities and I go after them.
Why does that matter to you? These developments are now generating real significant tax revenue. The retail stores are generating new sales tax revenue and these developments employ thousands of people. They are true economic engines that require very little city services. Every dollar we collect from these new economic developments is a dollar we don’t need to collect from you! That kind of development and revenue generation secures our future and is THE reason the Draper City Council has NOT had a vote to increase your property taxes in the last ten years!
The Future: Just imagine what the 700 acre prison site will do (it’s in an even better location) if properly developed. It will generate billions of dollars in tax revenue if properly developed into the Silicon Slopes! If developed correctly the prison site is a game changer for Draper City, Salt Lake County and the State of Utah.
My goal has always been to see this prison site developed and owned by private parties so it can finally, for the first time in its history, hit the tax rolls.