One of the most publicly visible programs of the Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED) is also one of its most misunderstood. To explain the Economic Development Tax Increment Financing (EDTIF) program to a diverse set of stakeholders, GOED has published a brief animated presentation to highlight the program’s features.
Since 2008, the Utah Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED) has deployed post-performance tax incentives to attract corporate expansion projects and new high-paying jobs. Adobe, eBay, Boeing and Goldman Sachs are just some of the global brands that have entered into EDTIF agreements with the state and that have expanded their operations here. In addition to those great global brands, GOED has also deployed the EDTIF to accelerate the growth of home-grown companies.
“The EDTIF program deals with big dollar figures and an intricate vetting processes that can be hard to concisely summarize to the public, the media and even the state’s legislature—which created the program,” said GOED Deputy Director Theresa Foxley, who oversees the EDTIF program. “The animation seeks to succinctly explain the program’s costs and benefits, along with its conservative, sustainable design.”
The animation, less than four minutes in length, debuted at a recent legislative subcommittee meeting and is accessible to the public via the GOED home page, business.utah.gov, and on YouTube. “The theme of the piece is the program’s key principle of post-performance,” Foxley said. “We underscore EDTIF’s ‘prove it before you’re paid’ design.”
The animation uses some visually dynamic elements such as a curving, side-by-side representation of tax incentives issued, new state tax revenues, capital investment, new high-paying jobs, new state wages.
“This element allowed us to illustrate considerable benefits vs. moderate costs in an interesting way,” said Michael Sullivan, GOED communications director. “It was an elegant solution to depicting ‘apples and oranges’ on the same timeline.”
Since 2008, more than 100 more companies have had EDTIF agreements, with nearly two-thirds being companies with existing operations in Utah. From FY 2008-FY2015, the projects have resulted in 13,547 new jobs paying $2.9 billion in wages, $6.7 billion in capital spending and the generation of $224 million in new state tax revenues — all on tax credits totaling only $72 million, according to GOED’s annual report.