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Wasatch County manager talks taxes, development plans for MIDA land

The Wasatch County administration building in Heber City.
Rob Winder
The Wasatch County administration building in Heber City.

The Wasatch County manager says the county’s partnership with the Military Installation Development Authority could mean lower property taxes for residents in the future.

At a MIDA meeting June 11, the board looked at predicted tax revenues over the next five years, including how much money it will give back to its partner entities.

In Wasatch County, that’s likely over $2 million by fiscal year 2029, roughly a sevenfold increase from this year’s $300,000.

MIDA is a state agency created with the mission of serving veterans and members of the military. It’s made up of appointed, not elected, officials. MIDA invests in economic development projects to generate revenue for its programs.

In Wasatch County, MIDA is fostering major leisure developments, like Deer Valley’s East Village resort expansion and the Skyridge luxury golf course.

Wasatch County manager Dustin Grabau said as those projects yield higher tax revenues, the county will invest in public improvements.

“Our agreements with MIDA outline a specific ‘waterfall,’ is what it’s referred to, of priorities of funding for public projects,” he said.

Those projects could include things like public parking, meeting spaces and public works facilities.

Grabau said it’s also possible the county will be able to lower property tax rates when revenue from MIDA increases.

“I know the current council is interested in looking at reducing property tax payments, but a lot of that will just come down to… how they want to balance the requests from the public for services versus the revenues that we’re bringing in from these areas,” he said. “But I think it’s an exciting opportunity that we can even have that type of discussion.”

In the meantime, development in MIDA’s Wasatch County region continues, including condos, luxury homes, affordable housing and commercial space.

Developers first present plans to the Development Review Committee. That committee includes Grabau, county planning director Doug Smith and other local representatives.

After that, plans head to the MIDA board, whose membership includes Wasatch County Councilmember Steve Farrell.

Members of the public are invited to attend any of the Development Review Committee or MIDA board meetings. Information about upcoming meetings is available on Utah’s public meeting notice website.

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