The Granite Board of Education also gave the nod Tuesday to three other RDA-like projects in West Valley, South Salt Lake and Taylorsville.
West Valley City wants to put in businesses and create jobs near Bangerter Highway and 2100 South, a property vacant for 30 years. The economic development agency (EDA) defers most taxes on growth 15 years and requires about a $14 million school district investment, according to the Utah Taxpayers Association.
South Salt Lake is building a Market Station Project on land vacant for about 10 years near 2100 South and between State and Main streets, Granite District assistant to the superintendent on law and policy Martin Bates said. It is a $19 million district investment over 15 years.
Taylorsville's urban renewal project retail center at 5400 South and Bangerter Highway requires $7.5 million in deferred taxes from the school district over a 15-year term.
The cities believe the RDAs, to which they are giving a portion of the sales tax, will economically revitalize areas and ultimately boost tax revenues for all.
But Utah Taxpayers Association Vice President Royce Van Tassell disagrees, saying the developments would happen without an RDA and will not improve the local economy. He said the school board essentially threw schoolchildren under the bus with its decision.
An audience of about 200 at the board meeting overwhelmingly supported the projects.