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MIDA predicts ‘exponential’ growth in revenue as Wasatch County projects grow

Parker Malatesta / KPCW News
The MIDA board met at the state capitol June 11.

The Military Installation Development Authority says its partnering entities, such as Wasatch County and the Wasatch County School District, will start seeing significant payoff for their agreements with MIDA in the coming years.

MIDA is a state agency made up of appointed, not elected, officials. It was formed with the mission of serving members of the military, and it creates revenue for its programs by partnering with local government entities to invest in economic development projects. Much of MIDA’s development in Wasatch County is part of Deer Valley’s resort expansion project.

MIDA chief financial officer Paula Eldredge said during a board meeting June 11 the biggest growth is expected in Wasatch County, the site of MIDA’s Military Recreation Facility.

The project is expected to yield major growth in tax revenue over the next five years as construction projects reach completion.

“What we’re seeing is an exponential increase in growth,” she said. “It’s just this beautiful upward arrow.”

For fiscal year 2024, MIDA is distributing about $300,000 each to Wasatch County and the school district. The Town of Hideout is getting an estimated $376,000.

But five years from now, Eldredge estimates MIDA will give over $2 million in tax revenue back to the county, and close to $3.5 million to the school district. Hideout should see around $1.3 million by fiscal year 2029.

The Central Utah Water Conservancy District, Wasatch County Fire Protection Special Service District and Wasatch County Special Service District No. 21 are also expected to have bumps in revenue as MIDA grows.

MIDA board chair Sen. Stuart Adams pointed out the impact on the county will largely come from secondary homeowners.

“The interesting thing up here is that most of the impact is people who are moving to this area will be buying second homes, and very low impact on schools,” he said. “That’s a significant revenue for both the county and the schools, with less impact.”

The discussion of revenue growth came amid a larger conversation about MIDA’s budget for the coming fiscal year.

MIDA plans on over $80 million in general fund expenditures next year, including spending over $31 million on Wasatch County’s Military Recreation Facility and about $6 million on the new Sundance project area in Utah County.

That’s down from almost $141 million in spending over the past year, when MIDA poured more than $95 million into its Wasatch County projects.

Major aspects of the MRF are scheduled to open before the end of the calendar year, including a Grand Hyatt and some parts of Deer Valley’s East Village expansion.

Of the almost 1,400 new hotel rooms planned in the MRF, 100 are reserved for veterans and members of the military.