Press Release: AFP-Utah Opposing Plan to Upgrade Jazz Arena with Tax Dollars

Americans for Prosperity-Utah announced their opposition to a proposal under consideration by the Salt Lake City Council, to provide taxpayer subsidies to the Larry H. Miller companies and the Utah Jazz for improvements being made to the Vivant Smart Home Arena. 

The group’s position is that the roughly $22 million in property tax breaks should go where they belong — to basic priorities that are the functions of government, like schools, rather than for corporate welfare projects that would enhance the private holdings of large corporations. 

Americans for Prosperity-Utah State Director Evelyn Everton had the following to say: 

“Giving taxpayer subsidies to a billion-dollar corporation in order to improve their private assets is the very definition of corporate welfare. If renovations need to be made to the Jazz arena, those should be the sole responsibility of the company. 

“Asking taxpayers to shoulder part of the bill for this project is exactly the kind of government practices that Utahns are tired of. Salt Lake City should not be choosing winners and losers in our economy while sacrificing other crucial services. Giving the Larry H. Miller group a tax break on future property taxes takes money away from local school districts.

“Investing in our children’s education should be the way we drive the economy — not by propping up a multi-million-dollar sports franchise.”

This week, AFP-Utah staff and volunteers are asking the city council to oppose this tax-break plan. A spokesman for the group said the project was a prime example of the type of corporate welfare that favors the well-connected over the public interest.