Economic Opportunity

Goal 3: Expand the City's tax revenues: taxable sales and assessed value of the property tax base
Source: City Finance Department     EO Goal3     10/22/2014
About this measure:
Sales tax growth is a comprehensive measure of financial vitality that takes into account the growth of the city, inflation, and business and consumer spending. The data is collected by the State Department of Revenue from sales tax reports filed by businesses. A factor in sales tax revenue has been increasing consumer purchases via the internet sales, which are not taxed.
Why this is important:
The City of Lincoln tax funded budget is approximately 41% funded by sales tax revenue. It is important that the largest source of tax revenue grow to keep pace with the inflationary costs of providing services
What is being done:
The City partners with the private sector in a number of ways to help create the growth that drives sales tax increases. The City provides economic incentives such as tax increment financing and support from the Fast Forward Fund. Tens of millions of dollars are spent annually on infrastructure such as roads, water, and wastewater which are important to the economic growth that increases sales tax revenue. The Development Services Center has consolidated the City business development permitting into one location, cutting red tape so entrepreneurs can be served more quickly and efficiently. The City participates with the private sector in the Lincoln Partnership for Economic Development to help attract new businesses and facilitate business retention and expansion.



Source: City Finance Department     EO Goal3     10/24/2014
About this measure:
The data is derived from the County Assessor’s property valuation database. The indicator is a reflection both population and economic growth.
Why this is important:
Growth in the property tax base helps insure that property tax rates can remain both stable and acceptable to the public. New construction and improvements to property are also a measure of the City’s economic strength.
What is being done:
The City has several strategies that impact economic growth and thus property valuation. The utilization of tax increment financing dollars and Fast Forward monies help entrepreneurs move projects forward. Increased investment in roads and other infrastructure help attract new investment. The new Pinnacle Bank Arena has ignited increased private sector investment in the West Haymarket. The Development Services Center was created to help speed private investment and job creation by improving the City’s permit process. The City is partner with the private sector in the Lincoln Partnership for Economic Development, contributing over $500,000 annually to their business expansion, recruitment, and retention efforts. The Mayor’s Economic Development Coordinator works closely with businesses, helping them with public policy and process as they investment and jobs.



Source: Building & Safety Department     EO Goal3     10/21/2014
About this measure:
Residential building permits are issued by the Building and Safety Department. The data is a three-year average of these permits.
Why this is important:
Building permits indicate the relative health of Lincoln’s economy. Builders, homeowners, renters, and mortgage lenders want to see the number of single family, town homes, duplexes, and multifamily permits to determine their best housing investments and options. The three-year average also helps us determine workloads and time allocations among counter intake, plan review, and inspection staff.
What is being done:
Building and Safety takes applications for building permits on-line and in-person through the Development Services Center. Plans are reviewed and inspections conducted to ensure the health, safety, and welfare of the persons living in these residences.



Source: Planning Department     EO Goal3     4/15/2014
About this measure:
New growth areas have been studied and inventoried by the Planning Department for at least fifteen years. The “lot supply” is comprised of preliminary platted and final platted land at the edges of the City. Although the boundaries of the “new growth area” changes over time as the City grows, the numbers are still comparable from one year to the next. The Planning Department tracks the supply of lots for all types of residential dwellings, and in various stages of approval.
Why this is important:
Monitoring the lot supply for new growth areas is important to determine where and how much to spend of limited City resources. If the lot supply is adequate, it is inefficient to further extend the City’s infrastructure of roads and utilities. If the lot supply is extremely low, demand pressures will start to push up housing prices if infrastructure isn’t extended. The current overall approved lot supply would last 14 years at the current three year average for dwelling unit construction. The final platted lot supply would last about three years at the current three year average for dwelling unit construction. As the housing market recovers, the supply may draw down at a faster rate, but demand pressures may encourage developers to plat more land adding to the lot supply.
What is being done:
Every time a new preliminary plat or final plat is approved, the area is mapped in GIS and the dwelling units are added to the inventory. Every time a building permit is approved, it is recorded in GIS and subtracted from the inventory. The Planning Department reports on this annually: http://www.lincoln.ne.gov/city/plan/long/data/resland/Jan13.pdf The Planning Department always takes the lot supply into account as well as household projections when making recommendations for future land use allocations in the Comprehensive Plan.



Source: Urban Development     EO Goal3     3/25/2014
About this measure:
This measure indicates the success of the first-time homebuyer loan program.
Data obtained from Urban Development and Zillow.com
Why this is important:
This program helps to open the door for families earning 80% or less of Lincoln’s median income to achieve their dreams of homeownership.
What is being done:
Urban Development assists consumers with down payment, closing costs and rehabilitation financial assistance utilizing Federal HOME program funds. In addition, Urban Development funds the first-time homebuyer training program offered by NeighborWorks Lincoln using Federal CDBG dollars.



Source: Urban Development     EO Goal3     3/28/2014
About this measure:
This measure demonstrates the property valuation growth in TIF and non-TIF areas. The data is obtained from the Lancaster County Assessor/Register of Deeds.
Why this is important:
This data demonstrates the effect redevelopment projects using Tax Increment Financing have on property valuations and shows the increased tax receipts the taxing entities can expect after 15 years.
What is being done:
Urban Development will continue to enter into redevelopment agreements for Tax Increment Financing with developers.