Community Development and Renewal Agencies Act Revisions, Title 17C
Adam Long, J.
The “Limited Purpose Local Government Entities – Community Reinvestment Agency Act” (Senate Bill 151, 2016 General Session, sponsors: Sen. Wayne Harper, Rep. Steven Handy) is the latest revision to Utah’s “redevelopment” statutes – laws enabling the use of tax increment financing and local point-of-sale sales taxes to help local governments address problems of underdeveloped, unproductive, or blighted property. Put simply, tax increment financing allows local governments to redirect, for a fixed period, future increased tax revenues toward specific areas where the money can help achieve targets and planned development goals such as job creation, increased tax base, or enhanced quality of life. This process and its associated tools are more generally referred to as “redevelopment.”
History of Redevelopment in Utah
Redevelopment first came to Utah in 1969 as the Utah Neighborhood Development Act, which was modeled after California’s Community Redevelopment Law. The Neighborhood Development Act was designed to address growing concerns about urban decay and blight that had been plaguing many American cities since before World War II through the establishment of local redevelopment Agencies and the establishment of tax increment financing. Utah’s redevelopment laws went through significant revisions in the ongoing years, including changes such as allowing agencies to issue bonds (1977), limiting the size and length of redevelopment projects (1983), limiting tax increment collection to twenty-five years (1983), and granting agencies the power of eminent domain (1983). In 1993, the Utah State Legislature created another redevelopment track called “economic development” intended specifically to facilitate job creation (rather than addressing urban blight). Although a variety of aspects of the laws were tweaked over the years, the next major change came in the form of a full rewrite of the redevelopment statutes in 1993.
The 1993 Redevelopment Agencies Act streamlined and (relatively) simplified the redevelopment process in Utah. Again, various ...