Utah Inland Port Authority
Through the knowledge and requirements gained from UIPA’s focus on regional economies, the organization becomes uniquely situated to reach
out to domestic and global entities and recruit directly into the regional
project areas. Based on the specific project area, businesses and industries will provide high-wage jobs and strong economic multipliers. The Inland Port has an ability to bring in physical assets through infrastructure while aligning resources needed to ensure these businesses find the Regional Project Area and Project Area an attractive location knitted together for their specific needs. This will prove to be the difference maker in deciding to come to Utah.
Local logistics activity—including distribution and fulfillment centers, trucking and rail terminals, and manufacturing facilities—tend to cluster along major transportation routes. Utah is in a prime location with direct connections to three major western gateways along the West Coast, helping funnel goods from those seaports out into the Midwest. Forty percent of the nation’s GDP flows through Utah from western ports, and having a Port Authority gives Utah greater access to the market, particularly for exports.
UIPA will fulfill its economic development role by utilizing and
implementing infrastructure as an enabler rather than an end goal.
Infrastructure such as rail, road, air, traditional technology, and green
technology will expand industry and benefit Utah communities. How this growth and innovation happens and the industry types generating these forces matter to the state and local neighborhoods and economies.
As a state agency, UIPA obtains funding from state appropriations and property tax differential. Additionally, UIPA may obtain funding in the future from other sources for its lines of business, infrastructure development, strategic investments, development financing, and advisory services. The use of tax differential to advise desired activities and outcomes is the primary
tool of UIPA.
UIPA plans to develop a system of rural connections, or project areas, that serve as nodes in the Utah logistics system. These locations will form a complementary system of freight consolidating and movement assets to facilitate the efficient movement of goods throughout Utah.
Specifically, a Project Area is a geographic area with defined boundaries that has been adopted by the Port Authority board for the purpose of regional economic advancement and generates tax differential. Each Project Area will have its own unique focus.
Logistics Projects are defined as rail, truck, air or similar projects that serves regional businesses or optimizes the region as a destination for desired economic growth. These projects are intended to catalyze trade activities statewide providing synergies necessary to boost imports and exports, improve access to domestic markets, and facilitate transit of goods and products of key Utah industries. The development of these locations also is intended to help rural areas of the state position themselves to participate in—and grow because of—the new market economy that will create better jobs for the future off the Wasatch Front.
Sustainability is at the heart of all UIPA’s partnerships, programs, and policies in the inland port jurisdictional area. While UIPA does not have land use authority in the jurisdictional area, UIPA is committed to realizing its
sustainable development potential through coordination with all relevant public and private stakeholders in the region. At a high level, the UIPA framework for sustainable development consists of green, resilient, and
equitable themes, each with distinct objectives and dimensions.
Green: Carbon neutrality and net zero emissions should be the aim of all development within the UIPA jurisdictional area. Through the identification and preservation of ecological zones surrounding the jurisdictional area, UIPA can encourage balanced development and pursue policies to avoid or minimize negative environmental and health impacts. Greenhouse gas analyses and sustainable development targets will also guide UIPA’s business
partnerships as the port looks for developers that are willing to implement
emissions reduction technologies.
Resilient: Developments should be purpose-built and increase the capacity of the inland port area to withstand social, economic, supply chain, and environmental events. Limiting negative development impacts on the natural environment and local communities will be essential to long-term success of
the project area. Therefore, land use strategies will encourage dense and
diverse development that makes for an efficient port with minimal ecological impact.
Equitable: Communities affected by inland port area developments should be intentionally consulted as part of planning processes to promote improved accessibility, economic opportunity, connectivity, health, safety, and quality of life. Development should aim to integrate the jurisdictional area, the natural
landscape, and local communities while creating the necessary environmental buffers. The creation of open spaces, multi-use employment, and clustering development all play a role in UIPA’s efforts to meet this standard.
Air quality is a top concern for Utahns, and UIPA is committed to promoting sustainable development and logistics through partnerships, policies, and programs.
We are working closely with the Utah Department of Environmental Quality—the environmental regulator in the state—on implementing best practices to meet and exceed federal and state standards. This comes through sustainable logistics, development, and industry.
Developers can mitigate air quality concerns by adopting sustainability strategies set forth by the UIPA framework, while businesses operating in the jurisdictional area can deploy zero- and near-zero emission technology. A key objective for UIPA is switching from conventional gasoline and diesel fuels to zero- and near-zero emission fuels in the heavy-duty vehicle sector. Due to the anticipated shift from conventional energy sources to electricity for transportation operations, energy demands are expected to exceed supply. This indicates a need for utilities to increase energy production, where ideally clean and renewable sources are used.
There is a misunderstanding about what role UIPA plays in the development of property. UIPA does not own or control all the property within its jurisdictional boundary because the Port Authority has NO LAND USE AUTHORITY. Zoning decisions within UIPA’s jurisdictional boundary rest with municipalities—Salt Lake City, West Valley City, and Magna. This means the Port Authority cannot determine what is built on the parcels in its jurisdictional boundary, but we can influence how things are built.
UIPA’s jurisdictional boundary is a construct to determine property tax differential, which is levied on the difference between current land values and improvements made on the land to increase its value. While Salt Lake City keeps a portion of the tax differential and a separate percentage of it goes to municipalities for affordable housing, the Port Authority uses the remainder to advance sustainable development and investments through partnerships, policies, programs, and bonding.