Utah’s population is expected to double within the next 50 years and we will need to continue to plan and prepare for this future growth. Utah is recognized nationwide for its innovative transportation systems and collaboration. SB 136, Transportation Governance Amendments, restructures the governance of the Utah Transit Authority (UTA), enhances the Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT), creates a new fund for transportation and transit and modifies some of the funding sources.
Highlights of SB 136, Transportation Governance Amendments
- Creates a three-member full-time board of trustees that will oversee the agency.
- Board members will be nominated by counties, appointed by the governor with consent from the Senate:
- Salt Lake County – 1
- Utah county with Tooele County – 1
- Davis County and Weber County with Box Elder County – 1
- Board members will serve three year, staggered terms that will be at-will, under the governor.
- Creates a nine-member advisory board.
- Must have approval from State Bonding Authority before issuance of any new bonds.
- Requires the State Attorney General’s Office to provide legal counsel.
- Restructures UDOT to accommodate an increased role in multimodal planning and capital development.
- Creates a Planning and Investment Division.
- Creates a structure to form future Transit Transportation Investment Funds (TTIF), which will require at least 40 percent non-state funding.
- Permits political subdivisions to create Transportation Reinvestment Zones to capture increases in property taxes around transportation infrastructure improvements.
- As more people have switched from traditional vehicles to electric and hybrid, the gas tax has lagged behind.
- SB 136 implements a three-year phase-in of fees for these vehicles. The purpose is to start working towards every driver paying a fair share for the use of the roads.
Provides Local Governments with Key Tools
- Expands and clarifies counties’ authority to implement a local sales tax option of .20% for public transit after July 1, 2019.
Restructures State Transportation Planning
- Directs UDOT to develop statewide strategic initiatives for planning and coordinating multimodal transportation.