Wasatch County following development, debt bills as legislature convenes
The Utah legislature’s 45-day session began Tuesday, Jan. 16. Wasatch County will be following bills related to development and how local governments issue debt.
Utah’s state lawmakers will consider hundreds of bills this session. Wasatch County manager Dustin Grabau said two in particular stand out as important to the county.
One, House Bill 13, is an infrastructure financing district bill.
“That would create the ability for housing developments and other developments to be able to borrow public funds,” Grabau said.
It’s designed to make it easier to finance new housing development projects. Grabau said the idea is that building more houses will help lower home costs across the state.
Similar to a public infrastructure district, this bill would create a district that could issue bonds to finance developments.
The other bill Wasatch County is watching, Senate Bill 86, concerns potential restrictions to how local governments issue debt. Grabau said it could have a big impact on the county.
“How governments currently borrow money is an important part of how we solve a lot of our infrastructure needs, including facilities,” he said. “The changes proposed would be a pretty big adjustment to our ability to address those needs.”
If it passes, the bill will restrict lease revenue bonds issued by local governments. Those bonds are types of loans that are repaid by the income a project generates. The bill would limit bond amounts to $10 million for local governments and $30 million for school districts. Otherwise, bonds would need to be approved by voters.
Midway’s Mike Kohler represents Wasatch County in the House and Ronald Winterton, of Roosevelt, represents five counties including Wasatch in the state Senate. Both are Republicans.