No one can predict with certainty statewide or nationally, how much money will be available for transportation over the next few decades. However, Utah’s transportation agencies have worked together to develop a robust financial model based on sound technical analysis for the current and future projected revenue that can reasonably be assumed to pay for transportation needs.
During the 2015 Legislative Session, Utah lawmakers passed House Bill 362, Transportation Infrastructure Funding. This historic transportation funding package was the first law in Utah to comprehensively fund all modes of transportation, including roads, transit, and active transportation. HB 362 was an important step forward in addressing the transportation funding shortfall identified in the Unified Transportation Plan, providing much-needed funding for critical, priority transportation needs. The law significantly reduced the funding shortfall identified in the Unified Plan but it is anticipated that future revenue increases will still be needed to maintain, preserve, and expand the state and local road and transit systems.
For planning purposes, the Unified Transportation Plan assumes the following future revenue sources, although specific mechanisms will depend on decisions by state and local elected officials.
- Statewide vehicle registration fee increases ($10 every 10 years starting in 2018)
- Local option tax (varies by MPO and county)
- Additional local option fuel tax
- Additional local option sales tax
- Additional vehicle registration fees
- Private sector funding
Utah’s Statewide Transportation Needs and Revenues
Between 2015 and 2040, the total transportation needs for the state are $80.5 billion. This includes funding needed to operate the current transportation system and keep the infrastructure in good condition (roadway and transit maintenance, preservation and operations). It also includes the funding needed to build new roads and transit lines, as well as widen existing roads and extend transit lines (roadway and transit capacity).
Utah’s transportation agencies understand that it is not reasonable to assume funding will be available for all the transportation needs in the state. Instead, the agencies have identified a prioritized set of the most critical needs at $67.5 billion. Existing revenue sources currently in place to fund the Unified Plan between 2015 and 2040 are $60.2 billion. That leaves $7.3 billion as the amount needed to fund Utah’s most critical, priority projects.