Utah lawmakers moved Monday to exert more control over the composition of a board that would evaluate bids to relocate the Utah State Prison and how to pay for it.
Although time ran out before a final vote on SB72, senators scrapped a provision that would allow the Prison Land Management Authority to collect up to 50 percent of sales and property tax revenue generated by redeveloping the prison's current 690-acre site to build a new facility, demolish the old one and provide infrastructure for new development. One senator characterized that as a "gift" to project bidders and out-of-step with the normal process for approving tax increment financing; another said it amounted to an "entitlement."
Sponsor Sen. Scott Jenkins, R-Plain City, said revenue sharing was one of the "tools" for funding a new, $550 million to $600 million prison outside the Salt Lake Valley's urban corridor. Other funds would come from selling the current prison acreage for $100 million to $140 million; annual operational and labor savings of $17 million to $20 million; and deferred maintenance of about $3 million a year.