By Julie Johansen
Emery County Commissioners, acting as the Community Reinvestment Agency Board, listened this week as economic development consultant Stuart Clason explained the benefits and cautions as they consider the interlocal agreement between the Emery County Commission, Emery County School District, Emery County Water Conservancy District and Hunter Solar, LLC. He explained that this would bring exciting economic opportunities to the county.
The solar plant will raise the value of the land and thus increase tax monies to the county. He also suggested that each entity should have a representative on the board, thus amending the number of members from three to six. Triggering the taxation should wait until the plant is completed and then the five years of back taxes will be assessed. Demolition charges can then be levied to ensure that the ground is returned to natural state at the end of the solar plant.
Ten percent of the tax revenue goes to affordable housing within Emery County while the remaining revenues are to be split between Hunter Solar, LLC, Emery County, Emery County School District and Emery County Water Conservancy District. These acres are currently classified as “green belt,” so even with the tax incentives, the revenue for the county will be greater.