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Taylorsville Journal

Verizon names Taylorsville a Top 10 city to open small business

May 20, 2019 01:53PM ● By Carl Fauver

These relatively new businesses — on the northwest corner of Redwood Road and 5400 South — are helping to raise Taylorsville sales tax revenues to record highs. (Carl Fauver/City Journals)

By Carl Fauver | [email protected]

Commerce is booming in Taylorsville, whether you care to believe the opinion of a national company or hard cold numbers.

Perhaps the most objective measure a city can use to determine how its business community is fairing are sales tax revenues. Taylorsville had its best year on record during the fiscal year of July 1, 2017, to June 30, 2018. However, that record will stand only one year. The current year (July 1, 2018, to the end of this month) is expected to be better, with next year projected to be better still.

Those are the hard, cold numbers.

In the meantime, a new national survey conducted by telecommunication giant Verizon Wireless has also determined Taylorsville to be the eighth-best small city across America in which to start a small business.

Ironically, while Taylorsville is eighth overall, it is still only fourth in Utah, with nearby South Jordan coming in at fourth. Here is the top-10 list.

  1. Logan, UT
  2. Sarasota, FL
  3. Coral Gables, FL 
  4. South Jordan, UT
  5. Doral, FL
  6. Cheyenne, WY
  7. Lehi, UT
  8. Taylorsville, UT
  9. Missoula, MT
  10. Corvallis, OR

“America has become the veritable poster child of the startup era,” Verizon officials stated in a news release announcing the company’s Top-10 selections. “After some research and a bit of computing, has found, the smaller the city, the more room there is to grow.”

One of those relatively new Taylorsville businessmen could not agree more. Last summer, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, transplant Darren Herder opened his A Philly-Aided Barbers business around the corner from FedEx (5608 South Redwood Road). A year later, he said he would do it again in a heartbeat.

“The business has been growing each month; we’re keeping busy,” Herder said during a brief break between untrimmed heads. “We now have four full-time employees and about 200 to 250 regular customers. We’ve been able to purchase some new equipment and put some money away. I could not ask for anything better.”

In calculating its Top-10 list, investigated several variables in nearly 300 cities across the country, including:

  • Population – 50,000 to 75,000 residents, according to the most recent U.S. census figures
  • Education – Percentage of residents over age 25 who have earned a bachelor’s degree or higher
  • Commute – Average time it takes residents to arrive at their jobs 
  • Income – Average cumulative income of all residents
  • Broadband – Percent of residents with internet at running speeds of at least 10 Mbps for downloads and 1 Mbps for uploads
  • Loans – Number of business loans per capita, indicating how easy it is to get startup funding
  • Taxes – Verizon claims lower taxes provide a better environment in which to establish new businesses Researchers accessed the Tax Foundation’s 2019 State Business Tax Climate Index for this measure.

In its website mention of Taylorsville at No. 8, Go. Verizon.Com states: “Smaller than South Jordan and bigger than Logan, Taylorsville is a happy medium as far as income, commute time and access to loans goes. Though it shares space with a smattering of other small cities such as West Jordan and Kearns, constant traffic brought in by I-215 and Bangerter Highway keep the economy up and at ‘em. So, make way for Taylorsville; it’s coming full-throttle into the economic race.”

Herder cited some of his own business success variables.

“For starters, the crime rate is low,” Herder said. “There are good schools in the area. The economy is strong in Taylorsville. That helps my business, because when people are interviewing for jobs — or going to them — they want to look nice. That includes a good haircut.”

Herder has also had the opportunity to recommend Taylorsville to other people considering starting a small business.

“Absolutely, I would locate here again,” he concluded. “Taylorsville is a great area, with lots of other good cities around it, like West Jordan, Murray and West Valley City. It’s a great place to do business.”

City sales tax revenues show that other business owners are already getting that message.

“Sales tax revenues are a direct indicator of how well businesses are doing in the city,” Taylorsville Chief Financial Officer Scott Harrington said. “Back in Fiscal Year 2008, the city hit an all-time sales tax revenue high of $8.44 million. But just a couple of years later, that total fell to $6.716 million, because of the recession.”

Taylorsville adds to its city coffers roughly one percent of all sales revenue.

“It took us until last year (FY2018) to finally bounce all the way back and set a new sales tax record for the city, at $8.9 million,” Harrington said. “This year, we should reach $9.225 million (with FY2019 officially ending June 30), and we project next year to bring the third straight record-setting sales tax total for Taylorsville, at $9.45 million.”

This rapid sales tax revenue growth has helped city leaders to not raise property taxes since 2013. 

This year alone, Harrington expects Taylorsville’s cost for Unified Police Department protection to increase about $550,000. The Salt Lake County Public Works Department has also raised its bill to the city by $200,000.

But despite these increases — again, in large part due to sales tax revenue growth — the Taylorsville City Council is once again expected to approve the new budget without a property tax hike.

“The city budget numbers are good this year, and the record-setting trend in sales tax totals is a big part of that,” Harrington said. “It can take a long time for economic development efforts to pay off, and it’s nice to see that happening now. City tax revenues are trending strong.”

“It has been so encouraging to see our city economy bounce back, following the recession,” Taylorsville Mayor Kristie Overson said. “And the Verizon research is also wonderful. I’m glad their article highlights small businesses. Sometimes we focus on attracting big businesses, but we have to remember how critical ‘mom and pop’ businesses are too.”

Overson believes the centralized location of Taylorsville in the Salt Lake Valley and the community’s population mix of millennials to senior citizens are also big factors in business success.

“I am pleased the budget I recommended to the city council did not include a property tax increase,” Overson said.

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