Utah has 46 census tracts that have been approved as Qualified Opportunity Zones. There were other census tracts eligible, although qualification requires a nomination from the state governor and the CEO of U.S. territories. Utah has a number of different cities with more than one opportunity zone and that includes the following:
Salt Lake City
The city with the most zones in Utah, this also features areas of South Salt Lake City.
The downtown area features four opportunity zones while South Ogden also has one census tract that was nominated.
There are four census tracts that have qualified in the city of Provo.
The premise of the government’s introduction of Opportunity Zones was done to generate more private investments in parts of Utah that have been labeled as economically disadvantaged. The qualifications are dependent on overall poverty rate or median income. The requirements were set to provide disadvantaged communities with the opportunity to attract investors through the use of capital gains incentives.
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Utah Tax Situation
The state of Utah has only one tax bracket when it comes to personal income tax. That stands at 5 percent and is a flat rate for all residents. Sales tax in Utah is 5.95 percent and while municipalities may invoke their own percentages on top of that, it remains minimal. The highest percent added to sales tax by a municipality in Utah is 0.81 percent. Utah also has a fuel excise tax that is charged on purchases of gasoline, diesel and gasohol.
The low sales tax may seem advantageous, although that amount is not contributing as much to the overall economy. As the annual percentage of sales tax collected has decreased, it has caused a greater need for personal income tax to compensate. That means more financial strain on Utah residents.
The tax situation in Utah is not considered friendly for retirees and because of the flat personal income tax rate, lower- and middle-class residents can wind up losing out. Meanwhile, property taxes are very friendly as Utah residents can expect to pay $1,240 per year on a home valued at $185,000. That places Utah just outside the top 10 at No.11 among states with the lowest property taxes. A home valued at $225,000 in Utah usually comes with a yearly property tax of $1,509.
UT Industries with Tax Breaks
There are a number of different industries that are eligible for tax breaks in the state of Utah. The state government features numerous incentive programs while local governments have a variety of options as well. Here is a look at some of the top industries that benefit from Utah tax breaks.
All types of energy companies are eligible for tax breaks and that even extends to alternative energy.
This sector has seen many companies receive substantial tax cuts for centers built in Utah as the total breaks have reached millions in some instances.
This has been impacted by a host of tax incentives, which also combines with federal tax breaks in the same area.
There are tax breaks to all types of manufacturing companies, although this excludes the automobile industry.
Facebook actually received $150 million in tax breaks when it agreed to build a data center in the state of Utah. There is no marginalizing certain industries, as tax breaks are available to a wide array of companies. These breaks are particularly appealing for companies looking to relocate or establish new facilities.
Utah State Financial Facts
The cost of living within the state of Utah rates around the middle of the pack in terms of all 50 states. There is not an excessively high level of financial strain, yet it is not the cheapest state to set up residence Here is a closer look at some key facts about the financial situation in Utah:
- Median household income – $64,321
- Median household savings
- $0 in savings: 39%
- $1,000 or less in savings: 55%
- Total household investments
69.6 percent of families that own their home
Median value of Utah home – $325,400
Real median income for families in Utah is $3,000 above national average
Current economic condition of Utah
Business continues to thrive in Utah as its friendly tax incentives have ushered in companies like Amazon and Facebook. Utah is currently ranked the second state that is best to do business in, according to Forbes. Studies have also shown that good and services cost 3 percent more in other states, meaning that Utah residents are actually 3 percent richer compared to individuals living in other states.
Job growth is on the rise in Utah as only two other states have experienced higher growth in the past year. That has influenced the GDP growth as it ranks sixth among all 50 states. Household income is also increasing, and unemployment continues to hover around 3 percent. Utah is also one of the few states with a poverty rate that is under 10 percent.
Utah saw every one of its major industries expand over the past year. Projections indicate an equally strong future for Utah. The population recently exceeded 3 million and is growing each year at a 1.9 percent increase. The lack of unemployment, rise in wages, and influx of industry has allowed Utah to continue to thrive from an economic perspective.
Since the financial crisis of 2008, a lot has changed in Utah as many banks borrowed billions of dollars in an attempt to recover during that time. The recovery has led to the emergence of lower-cost growth markers as well as a healthy real estate market.
Primary Industries in Utah
Utah is rich in diversity when it comes to the industries that have been able to thrive within the state. That has led to a lot of competition among industries, creating a better overall economy for the state. This helps with employment, production and the gross domestic product. Here is a look at some of the top industries in Utah,
- Renewable Resources
- Information Technology
- Aerospace & Defense
- Health Technology
- Travel and Tourism
Opportunity Zones in Utah
Utah has a total of 46 census tracts that are now qualified opportunity zones. These locations are expected to be improved through tax incentive investments that target economically challenged areas. There are a handful of cities that have multiple approved census tracts and here is a look at the complete list of Utah opportunity zones.
- Salt Lake City (5)
- South Salt Lake City (2)
- West Valley City (2)
- West Jordan
- Clearfield (2)
- Downtown Ogden (4)
- South Ogden
- Provo (4)
- American Fork
- Brigham City
- Iron County
- Cedar City
- George (2)
- Navajo Nation
- Beaver County
Utah has been able to prosper economically as a state, but there are still some areas that are in need of an economic boost. The city of Ogden is an example of one city that continues to struggle. It has a total of five opportunity zones, which makes it the most of any concentrated city in Utah. The poverty rate in Ogden has climbed to more than 20 percent, despite the fact that the cost of living is one of the lowest in the entire state. Provo is another prime example, as its poverty rate is approaching 30 percent and it comes as no surprise that four census tracts qualified as opportunity zones in this city. The capital gains tax incentives are a way of resurrecting these communities.