Loading...
12/03/2019 17 2020 City-Wide Ballot Proposition for Levy Lid Lift a\'4\lyy bxk ik 1 + PPP P A PPPPPPc ' lii it tYlltYlA.\ta. BUSINESS OF THE CITY COUNCIL YAKIMA, WASHINGTON AGENDA STATEMENT Item No. 17. For Meeting of: December 3, 2019 ITEM TITLE: Resolution authorizing a 2020 City-wide ballot proposition for Levy Lid Lift SUBMITTED BY: Alex Meyerhoff, Interim City Manager Steve Groom, Director of Finance and Budget SUMMARY EXPLANATION: Consideration of a Resolution stating the City of Yakima's support of a 2020 City-wide ballot proposition for Levy Lid Lift as approved unanimously by the City Council on October 16, 2019. The attached memo outlines the rationale and the purpose of the proposed lid lift. Deanna Gregory, who regularly represents the City in bond proceedings and assists cities in levy lid lift resolutions, will participate in the public discussion at this council meeting. Department heads who can speak to service-delivery constraints will also be available for this discussion. ITEM BUDGETED: STRATEGIC PRIORITY: APPROVED FOR SUBMITTAL BY THE CITY MANAGER RECOMMENDATION: ATTACHMENTS: Description Upload Date Type D r Mama 11/ 5/2019 r Mery a D resolution 11/ 0/2019 r Me o 2 t FINANCE TO: Mayor and City Council FROM: Steve Groom, Finance DATE: November 25, 2019 RE: Levy Lid Lift Resolution background In response to council direction to seek voter approval, this is to recommend a resolution specific to the current economics of Yakima, as discussed during the 2020 budget study sessions. The Levy Lid Lift has presented an increasing opportunity to restore service levels, addressing some of the city's financial belt-tightening challenges, by having a conversation with taxpayers through the process of a lid lift ballot initiative. This is to accompany, and provide a rationale for, a proposed resolution. Current capacity. Staff provided an annual update to council during the budget process using the Yakima County Tax Assessor's annual September valuations. In September 2018, valuations that showed there was $2.1 million available; in September 2019 this grew to $3.0 million in property tax levy capacity as summarized in the following two charts, presented annually: 2019 2018 2019 2019 2019 2019 2020 2020 Valuation Levy Valuation Levy Valuation Levy Valuation Levy Beginning 5,957,929,341 $ 19,367,991 6,241,111,933 19,696,941 Beginning 6,241,111,933 $ 19,696,941 6,901,339,691 $ 19,419,144 Add'. Add'. Existing 235,274,954 $ 183,680 544,029,661 186,868 Existing 544,029,661 $ 186,868 369,331,427 $ 194,181 New Constrt 49,009,539 $ 135,170 98,586,215 295,182 New Constrt 98,586,215 $ 295,182 97,446,349 $ 274,183 Annexation - $ - 4,691,000 14,016 Annexation 4,691,000 $ 14,016 - $ Total 6,241,111,933 $ 19,696,941 6,999,407,709 $ 19,182,907 Total 6,999,407,709 $ 19,182,907 7,369,116,466 $ 19,996,509 '.. $ 2.99 $ 279 $ 279 $ 270 LLL capacity $ 661,000 $ 2,171,000 LLL capacity $ 2,171,000 $ 2,955,000 10-year data. What these charts show is that property valuations have increased at a greater rate than property tax levy due to the legislated 1% cap on existing properties. Shown another way, on a 10-year trend basis, it is clear that the drop in levy rate is due to valuations increasing at a greater pace than the annual levy: ProPartr Vcluc 0= 40°I.0 ..cwf acxna-aea na.ea.+x. v . This revenue is such a large component of general fund services' funding that the effect of the 1% property tax increase cap on the city budget has been to reduce the general fund's ability to keep pace with expenses. 3 FINANCE Lid Lift options. In considering a lid lift, the factors to consider involve the purposes that the city would be trying to accomplish. There are different lid lift mechanisms available — combinations of single-year and multi-year, temporary and permanent. Temporary lid lifts would be for a one-time purpose. Were the city only desiring to catch up the General Fund's fund balance, that option could be considered, however Yakima has other factors to consider. Temporary lid lifts, both single-year and multi-year, reverts back to what it would have been if the lid lift had not been exercised. Staff does not recommend either of these. Permanent lid lifts serve the purpose of resetting the rate on a go-forward basis, which does fit Yakima's increasing squeeze caused by mounting expenses. The salary and benefits increases in recent years have outpaced revenues, and are likely to continue to do so. Vehicle purchases have been deferred which has created both a backlog and a trajectory that fails to meet on-going and future replacements. General liability insurance is a material expense that has outpaced revenues as well. For these reasons, a permanent lid lift that would reset revenues, and remain at that level subject to the 1% cap going forward, fit the purposes that fit the demand for city services and the price of delivery of those services. MRSC's guidance on lid lifts illustrates it this way: Permanent Single-Year Lid Lifts With a permanent single-year lid lift,the levy lid bumps up more than 1%in the first year,and then that amount is used to calculate all future 101%Levy limitations.The measure never expires and the levy lid never reverts.However, future annual increases may not exceed 1%without going to the voters for another Lid lift. See below for a conceptual example Single Year(One-Bump)Levy Ud Lift-Permanent RCW 84.55.050W arttua.{int 2 of 5 4 FINANCE Alternatively, a permanent multi-year lid lift provides a mechanism for lifts of more than 1% each year for up to six years. It does not revert to previous level and it continues into the future at that level subject to the 1% cap going forward afterwards. MRSC's guidance on lid lifts illustrates it this way: Permanent Multi-Year Lid Lifts Similarly,with a permanent multi-year lid lift the levy lid bumps up more than 1%each year(subject to the limit factor)for up to six years.However,the lid hit does not revert and the maximum levy is then used as the base to calculate all future 1%levy limitations. See below for a conceptual example Multi-Year Levy Lid Lift-Permanent RCW 84,55.050(2) up to c:sets xxxxxxxxxxx twastatacts ex met et.teetteetts (won ttaxt1 .......sYste if. . . .#: ts etteettet o ,, w••n., tifaEalhdlt o.s�ss •.a;r ��__r tests test et cep' dts.sts exceeds It 'etc ea- !•p alrmAt Timis . A.d .....:�t .. Because the nature of the circumstances of the City's need to catch up on General Fund reserves, vehicle replacement and staffing positions that have been frozen or eliminated in the past, staff recommends a Single Year lid lift to catch up and reset the trajectory of the levy. Exemptions. Should city council so choose, RCW 84.36.384 authorizes exemption from the tax increase for senior citizens, disabled veterans, and other people with disabilities as defined in RCW 84.36.381, therefore exemption language may or may not be proposed as a part of the proposition. Section 4 deleted at the discretion of city council. 3 of 5 5 FINANCE FAQ: What could an unrestricted General Fund property tax increase restore? As already described, all services provided by the General Fund have been systematically squeezed, meaning that new revenue provided by a lid lift would not be available for new services, but rather to restore or maintain existing services. A levy lid lift could contribute to sustaining service levels related to many general fund services and support functions that perennially plague the city's budgetary ability to address: • Fiscal sustainability, fund balance improvement, bond rating stabilization; • Keeping pace with Collective Bargaining Agreement salary and benefit increases; • Public safety services, such as crime prevention, police patrol and investigations, fire suppression and prevention, emergency management and preparedness; • Parks & recreation services, such as parks maintenance, community center operations, senior recreation services, and special events; • Homelessness issues; public safety priorities require dangerous, violent, urgent and immediate issues take first priority; • Street maintenance, snow and ice removal; February 2019 snow exceeded available budget, necessitating deferral of street chip-seal projects; the November passage of 1-976 further reduced funding for street projects by an estimated $1.6 million annually; • Vehicle and equipment replacement funding; deferred replacements in Police, Streets and Parks have been required due to General Fund resource limitations; • Code compliance services, planning, graffiti and illegal dumping mitigation. While these are the perennial General Fund services that City Council weighs annually in the annual budget process, each budget would still be the city council's primary control point for allocating limited resources following a levy lid lift and prioritizing specific needs and demands. Staff respectfully submits the attached resolution, that contains language appropriate to fund existing service levels, restore the General Fund's fund balance, and provide for funding replacement of existing vehicles and the maintenance and replacement of Streets and Parks capital expenditures. 4 of 5 6 FINANCE Background - Property Tax Levy RCWs City of Yakima is effectively limited to a cap of $3.10 because: • The maximum regular property tax levy rate for most cities is $3.375/$1,000 assessed valuation (AV). • City of Yakima has a Firemen's Pension Fund so levies an additional $0.225/$1,000 AV. (RCW 41.16.06) • City of Yakima has a library district which takes $0.50. (RCW 27.12.05) • Nov. 2001 Initiative 747 constrained the allowable levy increase to the lesser of inflation or 1% (RCW 84.55.005) 5 of 5 7 RESOLUTION NO. R-2019- RESOLUTION providing for the submission to the qualified electors of the City of Yakima at an election to be held on February 11. 2020, of a proposition authorizing the City to lift the levy limit established in RCW 84.55.010 in order to provide funds to pay the costs of City operations and services, including public safely, parks and recreation, addressing homelessness, street maintenance, planning, code enforcement, graffiti removal and other City services; and providing for severability and an effective date WHEREAS, Washington State law limits the annual increase of a city's regular property tax levy to 1% plus an allowance for new construction, unless the voters of a city approve a levy lid lift permitting the collection of regular property taxes in a greater amount; and WHEREAS, the City of Yakima's (the "City") regular property tax levy is a major source of General Fund revenue paying for the costs of the City's general government services, including public safety services, parks and recreation services, youth, family and senior services, addressing homelessness, and others; and WHEREAS, the costs of providing such basic City services have increased over time due to economic inflation and growth in the City, yet the City's regular property tax levy has not kept pace with inflation and growth; and WHEREAS, existing constraints on the City's capacity to generate revenue for its General Fund have resulted in cutbacks to some services and threaten the City's ability to provide basic services into the future; and WHEREAS, in order to continue to provide the current level of services being provided in the City, it is deemed necessary that the City increase its regular property tax levy rate to $0.40 per$1,000 of assessed value for collection in 2021 and thereafter to use the resulting levy amount as the basis for computing the limitations for subsequent levies as allowed by chapter 84.55 RCW; and WHEREAS, the City Council deems it necessary to submit to the voters of the City the proposition of whether or not the City shall levy regular property taxes for collection in 2021 in excess of the limit factor provided for in chapter 84.55 RCW; BE IT RESOLVED BY THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF YAKIMA: Section 1. Findings. The City Council hereby finds the best interests of the residents of the City require the City to provide additional funds to pay for the costs of City operations and services, including but not limited to the following (the "City Services"): • Public safety services, such as crime prevention, police patrol and investigations, fire suppression and prevention and emergency management and preparedness; • Youth, family and senior services, such as community-based and mental health services and safety net services: 1 8 • Parks and recreation services, such as park maintenance, community center operations, senior recreation services and special events; • Construction, maintenance and improvement of existing and new City facilities, infrastructure and streets; • Addressing homelessness through various means as are appropriate for City-level interventions, such as crime prevention, code enforcement, and refuse removal; • Equipment acquisition arid replacement, including City police, fire, streets and parks vehicles; • Street maintenance, including removal of snow and ice; • Planning, code compliance and code enforcement; • Mitigation of graffiti and illegal dumping; and • Other City operations, maintenance, and services as determined to be necessary from lime to lime. The City Council shall determine the timing, order and manner of funding the City Services and other uses of levy proceeds. The cost of all compensation, benefits, training, support services, equipment, vehicles, infrastructure, facilities, and/or administrative expenses and other costs incurred in connection with the City Services shall be deemed a part of the costs of such City Services. Section 2. Calling of Election Regarding the Levy of Additional Regular Property Taxes. It is hereby found and declared the best interests of the City require the submission to the qualified electors of the City of the proposition whether the City shall levy regular property taxes above the levy limitations established in RCW 84.55.005 and RCW 84.55.010 for their ratification or rejection at an election to be held on February 11, 2020. For the purpose of providing funds to pay the costs of the City Services, the Yakima County Auditor, as ex officio supervisor of elections in Yakima County, Washington, is hereby requested to call and conduct such election to be held on such day and to submit to the qualified electors of the City for their approval or rejection a proposition to increase the City's regular property tax levy by up to $0.40 per $1,000 of assessed valuation (to a total rate not to exceed $3.10 per $1,000 of assessed valuation) for collection in 2021, as allowed by chapter 84.55 RCW. The 2021 levy amount will be used as the basis to calculate subsequent levy limits. Upon approval of the voters of the proposition hereinafter set forth, the City may use proceeds of such levy to pay the costs of the City Services as more particularly described herein. Section 3. Certification of Ballot Proposition. The City Clerk is hereby authorized and directed to certify the following proposition to the Yakima County Auditor, as ex officio supervisor of elections in Yakima County, Washington, in substantially the following form. The election shall be held by all mail-in ballot. 2 9 CITY OF YAKIMA PROPOSITION 1 LEVY LID LIFT FOR PUBLIC SAFETY, PARKS AND RECREATION, YOUTH, FAMILY AND SENIOR AND OTHER CITY SERVICES AND OPERATIONS The City of Yakima City Council adopted Resolution No. concerning funding for City services and operations. This proposition would provide funding to sustain City operations and services, including public safety, parks/recreation, youth/family, addressing homelessness, street and facilities maintenance, and other services, by increasing the City's regular property tax levy by $0.40/$1,000 to a maximum rate of $3.10/$1,000 of assessed valuation for collection in 2021. The 2021 levy amount will be used as the basis to calculate subsequent levies, consistent with RCW 84.55. [Seniors and other individuals qualifying under RCW 84.36 would be exempt ] Should this proposition be approved? YES NO The City Manager and City Attorney are authorized to make such minor adjustments to the wording of such proposition as may be recommended by the Yakima County Auditor, provided the intent of the proposition remains clear and consistent with the intent of this resolution. JSection 4. Exemption. If the ballot proposition set forth herein is approved by the voters, as authorized by RCW 84.36.381, senior citizens, disabled veterans, and other people with disabilities (as defined in RCW 84.36.381) shall be exempt from the tax increase resulting from such levy lid lift.][for discussion] Section 5, Local Voters' Pamphlet Authorized. The preparation and distribution of a local voters' pamphlet providing information on the foregoing ballot measure is hereby authorized. The pamphlet shall include arguments advocating approval and disapproval of the ballot measure. In accordance with RCW 29A.32.280, the arguments advocating approval and rejection of the ballot measure shall be prepared by committees appointed by the City Council by resolution not later than forty-five days before the publication of the pamphlet. Each committee shall be composed of not more than three persons; however, a committee may seek the advice of any person or persons. The committee advocating approval shall be composed of persons known to favor the ballot measure, and the committee advocating rejection shall be composed of persons known to oppose the ballot measure. Section 6. Corrections by City Clerk. Upon approval of the City Attorney, the City Clerk and the code reviser are authorized to make necessary corrections to this resolution, including the correction of clerical errors; references to other local, state or federal laws, codes, rules, or regulations; or resolution numbering and section/subsection numbering. 3 io Section 7. Severability. If any one or more section, subsection, or sentence of this Resolution is held to be unconstitutional or invalid, such decision shall not affect the validity of the remaining portion of this resolution and the same shall remain in full force and effect. Section S. Effective Date. This resolution shall become effective immediately after its adoption. ADOPTED BY THE CITY COUNCIL this 3rd day of December, 2019. CITY OF YAKIMA, WASHINGTON Kathy Coffey, Mayor ATTEST: City Clerk 4 11 CERTIFICATE I, the undersigned, City Clerk of the City of Yakima, Washington, and keeper of the records of the City Council, DO HEREBY CERTIFY: 1. That the attached Resolution is a true and correct copy of Resolution No. of the City Council (the "Resolution"), as adopted at a regular meeting of the City Council held on 1, 2019, and duly recorded in my office. 2. That said meeting was duly convened and held in all respects in accordance with law, and to the extent required by law, due and proper notice of such meeting was given; that quorum of the City Council was present throughout the meeting, and a legally sufficient number of members of the City Council voted in the proper manner for the adoption of said Resolution; that all other requirements and proceedings incident to the proper adoption or passage of said Resolution have been duly fulfilled, carried out and otherwise observed, and that I am authorized to execute this certificate. Dated this day of . 2019. City Clerk