More incentives for Utah firms urged

State economic development officials want to help more in-state companies benefit from financial incentives that historically have been used to lure out-of-state firms to Utah.

Jason Perry, executive director of the Governor’s Office of Economic Development, and Michael Nelson, GOED’s director of incentives and corporate recruitment, suggested that the Legislature’s Workforce Services and Community and Economic Development Interim Committee study that idea, among others.

Perry recommended to the committee Wednesday that the inner workings of the Industrial Assistance Fund and the Economic Development Tax Incentive Fund be studied, including whether expanding Utah companies should get more incentives.

For example, he said, the IAF requires that half its funds be used in economically disadvantaged rural areas, 20 percent be used as economic development opportunities arise and 30 percent go toward urban development. The committee, he said, could study whether those percentages should be changed, what economic opportunities the state wants to fund, what incentive programs are in other states, whether Utah’s incentives are competitive with those of other states and whether IAF should be broadened to help in-state businesses "as opposed to just recruiting competition for those businesses."

By Brice Wallace
Deseret Morning News

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