State tax money is available for economic development expansion in rural Utah. The Targeted Business Tax Credit is used to encourage private investment and job creation in areas other than the Wasatch Front.
The Utah Legislature has allocated $300,000 dollars to be used by the state’s rural economic development office to encourage and support start-up and existing businesses.
"There's an opportunity to raise up the entire economy of rural with some of these incentive programs," said Nan Anderson, who works with rural development for the Utah Office of Economic Development.
Facebook and other large companies coming to Utah are likely to operate out of Salt Lake, Davis and Utah counties because they qualify for the Economic Development Tax Increment Financing Program.
“Because of the unique situation, some of our projects would never be large enough to qualify,” Anderson said. “This is designed basically for companies that are ready to grow. They can have funds supplied back to them by the state tax commission. We've got a vast opportunity in rural. We've got the space that maybe the Wasatch Front needs more of right now.”
This credit was designed by the Utah legislature to help encourage economic growth in areas that have been challenged by infrastructure and internet delays. Anderson says to help strengthen rural economies the state has also invested in projects to improve broadband service, for example.
"To the point where some areas out in rural have better coverage than you all do on the Wasatch Front," she said. "It may not be top of mind for many of these companies, whether they are located on the Wasatch Front or indeed outside of the state of Utah.”
The Utah Rural Economic Development Office is hoping to allocate up to $100,000 to at least three qualified business looking to making a major investment in areas with few than 25,000 residents.
"Any business that is not in retail, construction or public utility activities would be eligible to apply for this Targeted Business Tax Credit,” Anderson said. "I do believe these programs are good, productive uses of taxpayer funds."
Interested business owners have until February 1, 2019 to apply for the tax credit program.