Rep. Logan Wilde ready to jump head first into third legislative session
Rep. Logan Wilde says he is planning to jump head first into his third legislative session as the representative for the District 53 seat in the Utah House of Representatives.
While Wilde, R-Croydon, already has two legislative sessions under his belt, he said he continues to learn how he can effectively represent his constituents. He hopes to maintain the active role he established during the 2018 session.
“I think as a whole as we go into this, the best thing that I can do is continuing to listen to Summit County’s community and make sure that I am in touch with community leaders,” he said. “There are good relationships there and I have a good dialogue with government officials and business leaders.”
Wilde plans to sponsor nearly a dozen bills in the upcoming session, which is scheduled to start on Jan. 28. Some of the measures he is proposing deal with land use, water development and agriculture. Ideally, though, Wilde said he would prefer to take care of some of the matters administratively. He added, “We are trying to find a fix before we go to do legislation.”
Wilde will be reintroducing a measure that deals with the Utah Farmland Assessment Act, also referred to as the Greenbelt Act. The act allows qualifying agricultural property to be taxed based upon its productive capability instead of the market value. He said it did not pass last year because it required more exploration.
“When someone puts their property on a conservation easement, they can still apply for Greenbelt,” he said. “But, what has happened is some of the practices have changed over time. We are trying to say you can still use that for intended purposes of agriculture, but you have to remove production for a certain amount of time to meet the requirements of the county.”
Wilde sponsored three bills last year, but only one was signed into law by Gov. Gary Herbert. The bill removed regulations for reporting moderate-incoming housing for counties and cities. The state requires cities and counties to produce a report every two years on how the entities are mitigating costs for moderate-incoming housing, which includes homes ranging between $80,000 and $200,000.
“What this did was it said we are going to update those studies and put restrictions on mandating those to get us clear information so we can understand the problems better,” he said.
When it comes to the county’s interests, Wilde acknowledged the importance that has been placed on air and water quality, transportation and affordable housing. He said the best he can do is continue to support local elected leaders’ in their efforts to address those matters.
“Summit County’s air quality is pretty good,” he said. “I kind of have to step back and let the counties that are struggling implement laws and look to other legislators to figure out what the right policies are and support them if it makes sense.”
He said issues such as transportation and affordable housing, though, are primarily local matters that are not “driven by the top down, but rather the bottom up.”
“Summit County has already realized that affordable housing is a big problem,” he said. “But, it’s difficult to make this happen unless the community comes out and says, ‘We will do subsidies.’ We can do plans and help with zoning and make sure that the water projects that are within your community have adequate funding so it brings the costs down. So we can help with infrastructure costs. But, getting someone to actually do an affordable housing bill is difficult. That is where Utah has a hang up. Everyone has their interests.”
For the upcoming session, Wilde is assigned to the following committees and subcommittees: Natural Resources, Agriculture and Environment Committee and Subcommittee; Political Subdivisions Committee; Retirement and Independent Entities Committee and Subcommittee; and House Rules Committee.
Wilde defeated Democratic challenger Chris Neville in the November election to retain his seat. While Wilde won 64.94 percent of the overall vote, Neville earned more support in Summit County, taking 50.9 percent of the votes compared to Wilde’s 49.1 percent.
District 53 includes large swaths of Daggett, Rich, Morgan, Duchesne and Summit counties. In Summit County, District 53 includes: Park West, Kimball Junction, parts of Pinebrook, Promontory, Snyders Mill, Moose Hollow, Silver Springs, Jeremy Ranch, and North and South Summit.
For more information about the bills Wilde is sponsoring, go to https://house.utah.gov/rep/WILDEL.
Meredith Reed was elected to a two-year term as chair of the Summit County Democratic Party and said she sees an opportunity to ride the so-called blue wave that saw a Democratic surge nationally and within the state.