UPA has closely watched the Transportation Governance and Funding Task Force and its subcommittees that have met throughout the summer.  The October 5 Task Force meeting included reports from each of the 3 subcommittees including the Funding Workgroup; Economic Development and Land Use Workgroup; and Governance and Transit Workgroup.  While each workgroup's interest focus has implications for UPA Members, we've principally followed the Funding Workgroup. 

Having met a number of times throughout the summer, the Funding Workgroup opted to give rather broad recommendations that will clearly prompt more discussion and debate on particulars if any legislative proposal is to come from them.  The recommendations included:

  1. Maintain and enhance the state’s commitment to transportation infrastructure funding
    a.  Operate under the principle that users should bear the primary responsibility to fund transportation infrastructure, while acknowledging that both “users” and “beneficiaries” should pay for the growing needs of the state’s transportation system
    b.  Ensure that cities/counties have tools to utilize “value capture” funding mechanisms
    c.  Ensure all road users pay an equitable share of transportation infrastructure, including developing a fee structure on alternative fuel or zero-fuel vehicles and bicycles
    d.  Allow cities to utilize municipal transportation utility fees to fund transportation projects
    e.  Coordinate with the current, broader, state sales tax reform effort to ensure that the State's General Fund can continue to contribute to the needs of the transportation system
    f.  Encourage the state and local entities to consider new, innovative funding sources, including public-private partnerships

  2. Increase the flexibility of state transportation funding sources
    1. Allow the Transportation Investment Fund to be used for the highest value transportation infrastructure projects across modes

  3. Research alternative funding mechanisms
    1. Authorize and direct UDOT to begin a Road User Charge (RUC) demonstration/pilot program as a potential future alternative to motor fuel taxes
    2. Encourage transit providers to examine alternative fare structures

The next, and possibly final, Task Force meeting is scheduled for Monday, October 23, 8:00 a.m. in Senate Building Rm. 210 at the Capitol Complex.  UPA will watch closely and stay engaged as this process winds it way to the legislature.