What to DO About Utah’s Housing Crisis! How about a big, bold idea? $1 billion in housing incentive
City, rural and suburban Utahns are desperate for affordable housing. There is a way to make a huge impact on housing in Utah. Fast. Without any added taxpayer burden.
This year, with record-low interest rates, the state should bond for $1 billion dollars in low-income housing bonds and pay for it by repealing the massive 2018 $75 million dollar annual corporate welfare, special-interest tax break lawmakers gave to certain 'manufacturers, mining interests and web portal companies'. (That 2018 bill added the $75 million to a $100 million dollars those manufacturers were already getting in a special tax break.)
Presto. Imagine the power of $1 billion dollars in low-income housing incentives--all across Utah! Without any tax increases--just a restoration of pre-2018 taxes for the few state-picked winners, the gaggle of a few well-lobbied-for companies that would simply go back to paying their fair share in taxes!
Last year, the Legislature voted down a piddly $27 million in affordable housing help. Peanuts. The Republicans in state government (who love to blah blah blah--but never do anything for housing) will never agree to this, but the Dems (who almost never think BOLD) could introduce a plan--and when the GOP squashes the Dems plan and has no plan of their own, the Dems could run on it in 2020.
But, don't bet the house on the Dems having a bold, serious housing plan.