How the 2024 Utah Legislation Will Affect Manufacturers

Written by
Catherine Bennett

If you’re a listener on the iMpact podcast Making Utah, you’ll know that we spoke to president of the Utah Manufacturers Association, Todd Bingham, at the beginning of the legislative session back in January. Lawmakers and state representatives met for 45 days—a relatively short session—to discuss roughly 1,500 bills. Of those bills,150 of them directly affected manufacturers in Utah. 

The session ended on March 1st. Now it’s time to recap. 

First, the numbers:

940 new bills were introduced in 2024 

591 bills passed (we’d call this a tall number) 

177 bills were tracked by the Utah Manufacturer’s Association 

That’s a ton of bills and a lot of decisions. We consulted again with our friends at UMA, who directly represent the interests of manufacturers on the front lines, to break down which decisions will have the greatest impact on manufacturers in Utah.1

Which 2024 Legislative Decisions Will Have the Greatest Impact on Manufacturing? 

3 decisions in particular manufacturers should be aware of.

1. Energy Bill S.B. 224 Passes, Changing How Companies Plan and Pay for Specific Energy Sources

S.B. 224 Energy Independence Amendments focuses on maintaining reliable energy and helping Utah manage wildfire risks as it relates to electrical outages. To this end, Bill 224 requires that a number of Utah’s coal plants remain open to ensure reliable and dispatchable power. 

Ergo, on April 4th, Rocky Mountain Power announced its updated Integrated Resource Plan, which lays out “its intentions to extend the operational lives of two major coal powered plants and cut down on new capacity from renewables.”2

What does this mean for manufacturers? 

A positive from this bill means continued sources of reliable baseload power and more assurance on fire protection in Utah and broader western U.S..

Manufacturing companies exploring alternate sources of energy will still have the ability to create alternate power sources via power purchase agreements.  

There will be regulatory questions needing to be addressed post passage of SB224.  As closure of these coal plants created a path for Utah in attaining regional haze compliance, the bill will lead to further analysis and work to assure state compliance with environmental regulations (federal clean air requirements). 

Apart from that, Utah has always taken an approach to assure best energy solution: diverse portfolio, lowest risk, and lowest costs for all users.  We will remain focused on assuring the state continues to thrive in economic growth and best utilizing our resources for generations to come.  

2. H.B. 453 Regarding the Great Salt Lake Puts Renewed Focus on Preserving Water for the Future 

H.B. 453 Great Salt Lake Revisions passed in efforts to assure that the water of the Great Salt Lake remains at appropriate levels. The bill will “protect the waters of the Great Salt Lake and ensure extraction industries work together with state leaders to improve the health of the lake and surrounding wetlands.”3

We celebrate what this will mean for our Great Sale Lake and preserving water, resources, and wildlife for future generations!

As far as lake manufacturers will be affected, House Bill 453 will change how much companies can extract from the lake, creating a water review and allocation for all lake extractors, and assuring means to preserve and best utilize state minerals. 

In order to comply with state regulations and manage production costs, manufacturers may need to change their extraction methods to ensure that they are using the most efficient processes to conserve water. 

3. Income Tax Bill S.B. 69 Lowers the State Income Tax 

One piece of good news for manufacturers is a cut to the state income tax.

S.B. 69 Income Tax Amendments amends the corporate franchise and income tax rates, as well as the individual income tax rate, from 4.65% to 4.55%. This will mean freeing up resources for Utah manufacturers to invest more in research and development, upgrade their infrastructure, expand their operations, or even hire more employees.

The benefits of a smaller state income tax extend beyond the manufacturing industry. Lower taxes can contribute to a more favorable business environment, making Utah more attractive to manufacturers. This could result in a boost to the state's economy, with increased investments and job opportunities in the manufacturing sector.

S.B. 69 represents an important win for industry in the state of Utah and we’re excited to see all the ways manufacturers will benefit.

Stay Informed, Get Involved!

The 2024 Utah Legislative Session brought a mix of news for manufacturers. While the income tax cut offers some financial breathing room, the energy bill and Great Salt Lake regulations present both opportunities and challenges.

As a Utah manufacturer, staying informed about these changes is critical. The Utah Manufacturers Association (UMA) is a powerful voice for manufacturers, advocating for policies that support a thriving manufacturing sector. By getting involved with UMA, you can have a say in shaping the future of manufacturing in Utah.  

You can visit the UMA website to learn more about their advocacy efforts and how you can join the conversation. Join us as we work to ensure a bright future for Utah manufacturing and our local economy.

Sources: 

  1. Josh Brown, Director of Government Relations, Utah Manufacturers Association. 
  2. Alixel Cabrera, “Utah Rep. John Curtis calls plan to keep coal plants open ‘market-driven policies,’” Standard-Examiner, Utah News Dispatch, April 4, 2024, Standard.net.
  3. “Utah Legislature Passes Significant Legislation to Protect and Improve the Great Salt Lake,” Utah Senate, February 29, 2024, Senate.Utah.gov.

Suggested Posts

Lean Six Sigma Green Belt

Spring Cleaning with Lean 101: Eliminate & Reduce Waste

2023 Assessment Results: Utah Manufacturer’s Operational Weaknesses