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Go Utah Responds to The Salt Lake Tribune Domo Incentive Article

Kaitlyn ClarkeNews

In an article published this morning by The Salt Lake Tribune, “DOMO got $23 million in incentives from GOEO, whose chair sits on the DOMO board,” author Bryan Schott waited until well into the article to state that there was no indication that Chair Carine Clark had any undue influence on the process of awarding tax credits.

The Utah Governor’s Office of Economic Opportunity condemns the misleading nature of the article published by The Salt Lake Tribune.

Ms. Carine Clark has served honorably as our Board chair since March 2020. As a matter of procedure, our Board members recuse themselves whenever any issue connected to personal interests is discussed and voted upon. One of the state’s assistant attorney generals participates in each of our Board meetings to help ensure we’re following this protocol.

In the case of the Jan. 14, 2021, Domo incentive, the public record shows that Chair Clark did just that: recuse herself.

Our monthly Board meetings follow the state’s guidelines for public meetings — anyone’s welcome to participate. Many media members regularly attend our meetings. Bryan Schott even concedes in the article that there’s “no indication” Clark exercised undue influence on the Board’s decision to provide Domo a post-performance tax credit incentive.

The Tribune’s article is misleading and inflammatory.

Chair Clark went above and beyond state law to recuse herself from every conversation regarding Domo, whether in a public forum or not. Our staff can attest that Clark has never referred a company to receive a tax credit or pressured them to approve a corporate incentive.

“Carine Clark represents the best of Utah,” said Dan Hemmert, Go Utah’s executive director. “She’s accomplished, hard-working, and gives back. We’re fortunate that Ms. Clark is willing to volunteer countless hours of her time to help steer Utah’s robust economy to ensure that Utahns today and tomorrow have better opportunities for employment and quality of life.”

“Utah is amazing because of people like Carine Clark,” Hemmert continued.

The Tribune can do better than critically and misleadingly pointing the finger at Carine Clark, who serves on the Go Utah Board with dedication and integrity.

The Legislature’s Economic Development Tax Increment Financing (EDTIF) program, which Go Utah administers, is a post-performance tax credit corporate incentive. Domo still has not earned the EDTIF tax credits but must perform and meet specific benchmarks, and then each year, apply to Go Utah for the tax credit.

The Tribune article makes it sound like Domo has already earned $23 million in state tax incentives, which is inaccurate and misleading. The incentive is spread over many years, and Domo must requalify each year and apply to receive the incentive. (Click here to learn more about the Jan. 14, 2021, Go Utah Board vote to award tax credits to Domo.)

Since the EDTIF program’s 2005 inception, only 53% (126) of businesses have pursued an EDTIF post-performance tax credit by entering into a contract. In other words, only a little over half of the companies entered into an EDTIF agreement with the state and received a post-performance assessment. None of the companies received a cash advance to expand in or relocate to Utah.

Of the 126 businesses that have pursued a post-performance tax credit, only 12 have reached their maximum award. Over the program’s life, companies that have received at least one post-performance incentive have received, on average, only 34% of the maximum tax credit amount.

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