Bill to strengthen Utah’s Inland Port Authority gets mixed reaction

Local News

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 News) – A state lawmaker proposes making changes to the recently-created Utah Inland Port Authority. 

House Bill 433 sponsored by Rep. Francis Gibson (R-Mapleton) would modify provisions related to the agency. 

Among the changes, it would allow the Port Authority to own and operate a trade hub and authorize the ability to adopt a project plan outside of the authority jurisdiction but only under certain conditions. 

The bill would also prohibit cities from challenging the creation, funding, powers, or duties and would prohibit the use of public funds for such a challenge. The agency would capture 100 percent of property taxes for 40 years, instead of the previous 25 years currently implemented should the board determine that the tax differential would “produce a significant benefit.” 

Many supporters include rural county officials who say they could alleviate issues that come from a single site and instead reduce traffic and air quality concerns. 

Opponents including Salt Lake City Mayor Jackie Biskupski say that proposed changes are a “power grab” from the state targeting the city, stating that “rather than seriously address the significant issues of transparency, environmental impact, and respect for local control, the bill released today reinforces the worst parts of the original legislation.”

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Glen Mills

Chief Political Correspondent

 Glen is honored to be delivering the news of the day every weeknight at 5, 6, and 10 in his home state. He is an award-winning veteran journalist, who joined the ABC4 News team as a weekend anchor in June 2013. Over the years, he held various positions at the station as he worked his way up to the main anchor chair. He also serves as our Senior Political Correspondent and hosts Inside Utah Politics, which airs every Sunday. The Utah Headliners Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists has recognized Glen as the best government and military television reporter in the state. Before returning home to Utah, he spent 11 1/2 years developing his journalism skills in other states. He held various on-air and management positions at KPVI in Pocatello, Idaho, WGBA in Green Bay, Wisconsin, and KKCO in Grand Junction, Colorado during that time. Read More...