Orem City Councilman Starts Petition – Get Your $63 Million Back

“The Orem City Council will be voting on whether or not to give the University Mall a $63 million CDA (subsidy) over 2/3 of which will be coming from the Alpine School District. ”

Defending Utah has seen Transparency Orem work behind the scenes to protect your liberties, and we support their efforts. 

The following article was originally posted on Transparency Orem at

Where to Sign the Petition:

Hans Andersen 1724 S 165 W Orem UT 84058 801-225-0396

Wayne Burr 142 S 400 W Orem, UT  84058 801-224-6992

Orem City Council will be voting on whether or not to give $63 Million Mall Property Tax CDA

On September 23, 2014 the Orem City Council will be voting on whether or not to give the University Mall a $63 million CDA (subsidy) over 2/3 of which will be coming from the Alpine School District. 

The state of Utah is one of the lowest paying states for education per child and yet we are taking over $44 million away from the Alpine School District to fund a mall instead. The educators, parents and citizens have not been informed sufficiently. We are taking money away from the children to fund the mall expansion.


We, a group of concerned citizens, are organizing a referendum to stop this $63 million mall subsidy and give the Orem citizens the opportunity to vote on whether or not to give the mall the subsidy. There is much reason to be concerned. If you are interested in signing the petition or helping collect signatures please call Wayne Burr (801) 224-6992 or email: [email protected]. Thank you! 


Orem City Subsidies have Failed in the Past


1.- Previous Mall Subsidy  – To get Nordstrom’s in Orem, the Orem City Council gave the mall a $15,778,142 subsidy.  Nordstrom’s left anyway.  

2.- UTOPIA –  The Utopia subsidy costs Orem residents $3 million this year and the cost will rise to over $4.7 million/year over the next 27 years. Originally Utopia was not suppose to cost taxpayers anything. 

3.- Mid Town Village   – Orem City Council voted to guarantee up to $7 million in bonds to pay for underground parking at Mid Town Village.  That “loan” was supposed to be paid off five years ago.  It still hasn’t been paid off.  


Property taxes pay the CDA (Subsidy)

Orem City’s table below shows the various taxing groups “contribution” to the mall over the next 20 years. * 

Entity Length Total
Utah County 20 Years $6,465,039
Alpine School District 20 Years $44,669.875
City of Orem 20 Years $9,607,695
Central Utah Water Conservancy Dist. 20 Years $2,290,236
Orem Metropolitan Water District 20 Years $200,267
Total Sources of Tax Increment Funds $63,233,113


(See Orem’s “Draft Project Area  Budget” University Place  Community Development Area CDA, page 5)


Stop this CDA subsidy!! Sign the Petition!!


You can Vote on this CDA (subsidy) if we get enough Signatures.


1.- This subsidy would place the mall above the needs of our school children. The Alpine School District will be contributing over 2/3 of the CDA (subsidy). According to Orem’s “Draft Project Area  Budget” University Place  Community Development Area CDA, page 5) Alpine School District will pay for $44,669,875 of it. Westmore school was just built at a cost of $9.8 million.  This CDA will cost the equivalent of over four Westmore schools. Several years down the road, families in the district would likely be asked for more money – for the children, of course – but no mention would be made of the fact that the district gave up $44 million to the mall.

2. – Orem City should not subsidize one business over another.  A $63 million mall subsidy equals a $25,000/per business subsidy, if all 2,532 business shared the subsidy.  But, the mall gets all $63 million. Orem residents pay 100% of their property taxes while the mall will be paying 25% of its property taxes. 

3. – This CDA (subsidy) will cost Orem households.  The Orem City Council vote may approve $63 million in property tax breaks (CDA) to the University Mall (Woodbury Corp). The mall subsidy will pass on its property taxes to the common citizens and other businesses.  41% of the 63 million of the CDA will come out of Orem citizens pockets. That is approximately $26,250,000, if divided by all the households in Orem its an average of $1,086 per household. That is an average of $4.53/month for the next 20 years.


Wouldn’t it be wrong for me to take and spend YOUR money on MY property?  I think so!  If it is wrong for ME to take and spend YOUR money on MY property, then it is also wrong for the GOVERNMENT to take and spend YOUR money on PRIVATE property.  Orem City government should provide a level playing field for every business.  Orem City should not pick winners and losers in Orem City.  


****The Solution is You****

Please Sign the Petition to let the Orem Residents Vote Whether or Not to Subsidize the Mall. 


For more information:

Wayne Burr (801) 224-6992, [email protected]

Hans Andersen (801) 225-0396,  [email protected]


To Review the City’s Proposal click on the Link Below:

University Mall CDA

Former Orem City Council candidate Skyler Hamilton gave a great four minute review of the bottom line in this situation.



Even though Sep 23rd has passed, there is still time to sign the petition if you support the cause of Transparency Orem in making sure you have a voice in where your tax money goes.


Fact Check: Orem groups challenge CDA (Daily Herald October 10, 2014)

– Channel 4: $63 million tax break given to Orem’s University Mall developer
(September 24, 2014)

– Orem City Council voted 5 to 1 to give $63 million in tax breaks to the University Mall
Orem CDA with University Place to move forward


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