Utah lawmakers discuss shortfall in transportation funds

| Friday, September 10, 2004

Current revenue streams will be $23.6 billion short of Utah’s roadway and transit needs by 2030, state lawmakers were told this week.

The pressing issue now facing legislators is how to come up with those additional funds, the Deseret Morning News reported.

The $23 billion figure was provided by the Utah League of Cities and Towns. The group presented its information Sept. 8 to the Legislature’s Transportation Planning Task Force, a group of lawmakers examining how the state’s transportation infrastructure can be maintained and improved.

More money was the answer provided. And there are at least 11 sources identified by the league that could be used to generate more road dollars.

“The gas tax doesn’t pay for all road and transportation needs,” Lincoln Shurtz, a legislative analyst for the League of Cities and Towns, told the newspaper. “The gas tax is obviously going to be a major component, but its relevancy is dwindling.”

Sen. Carlene Walker, R-Salt Lake City, the task force’s co-chairwoman, said the list of funding options was helpful, but asked the league to rank the different options according to its preference.

Shurtz said the league planned to meet again with the task force Oct. 13 with those specific recommendations.

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