City and county officials in Box Elder county have ironed out their concerns about granting tax exempt status to the Shoshoni Nation housing project and will pursue a $1.8 million federal grant.
The Shoshoni Nation's Northwestern Band plans to use the money from the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development to build 15 low-rent homes in northern Utah and southern Idaho.Initially the grant was threatened because Box Elder County, Tremonton and Brigham City were reluctant to give tax-exempt status to the project, a precondition imposed by HUD. But the parties involved resolved those concerns at a meeting earlier this month.
"I think it looks pretty promising," said County Commissioner Jay Hardy, adding that it was not clear initially that HUD required the tax exempt status.
HUD would allow the band to pay $150 per month per house in lieu of taxes, much lower than the typical tax bill for a single-family home.
The original agreement allowed for as many as 50 homes to be built. A modified agreement allows 15 homes within the county, and only three homes in a subdivision.
The Shoshoni Nation housing authority plans to build 11 homes in Box Elder County and four in southern Idaho. It expects to build more homes in the future but not very quickly.
"We're looking at a maximum of one per year in the eight-county area," said Stanley Stradley, director of the housing authority. "For any community to come in and think we're going to build massive amounts of tax-exempt housing, that is just not possible under the funding available to us."
Stradley said the agreement has to be signed in the next 30 to 45 days and sent to HUD to meet federal deadlines.