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Bill expanding MIDA’s taxing powers heads to governor’s desk

Legislators approved a bill expanding MIDA's taxing powers Feb. 29. It now heads to the governor's desk.
Parker Malatesta / KPCW News
Legislators approved a bill expanding MIDA's taxing powers Feb. 29. It now heads to the governor's desk.

A bill enabling the Military Installation Development Authority to levy new taxes in its project area has passed both chambers of the legislature. It’s now heading to Gov. Spencer Cox’s desk.

The latest version of Senate Bill 169 passed both the Senate and the House Thursday, Feb. 29. Now, it is being prepared for the governor’s final decision.

The bill will permit MIDA to impose an accommodations tax and a resort communities sales tax within its project areas, among other provisions. It’s expected to affect areas in Wasatch County like the Deer Valley resort expansion.

It also tweaks the definition of “military land” to encompass land owned or leased by MIDA, as well as land held or used for the military’s benefit.

And it includes a way for MIDA to send part of its property tax revenue back to local school districts, such as Wasatch County School District.

The bill has been amended to include new language about MIDA’s relationship with the Utah Department of Transportation. If UDOT sells highway land within the project area to MIDA, the profits from that sale must go to MIDA. And MIDA must use that money for transportation or transit within the area.

The bill is sponsored by Sen. Jerry Stevenson, the vice-chair of MIDA’s board.

Wasatch County manager Dustin Grabau said he’s comfortable with the legislation.

“While I think Wasatch County is interested in ensuring that we have a continued input and voice on the MIDA board, I think we feel like there is a lot of transparency, there’s a lot of input and a lot of dialogue,” he said. “Of the things that are in the bill, we were previewed on it, we’re aware of them, and MIDA did a good job including us in the process.”

News in late December revealed Stevenson’s campaign received $11,000 in donations over the past two years from Extell, the luxury developer responsible for the Deer Valley expansion, and its owner, Gary Barnett.

SB 169 will now head to Gov. Cox’s desk for his signature or veto.

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