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Government Affairs
Government Affairs

The Wasatch Front Regional Council (WFRC) works closely with local, regional, state, and federal governments to promote legislative priorities and implement policies. WFRC works with its members and partners to support sound policies that are centered around or tied to transportation, such as land use, economic development, and air quality.

For additional information regarding government affairs, please contact Miranda Jones Cox.

Current Legislative Information

WFRC tracks relevant legislation of interest to its members — the bill trackers are linked on the right side of this screen.

Click here for WFRC’s 2021 Legislative Session Wrap Up

WFRC, the Utah League of Cities and Towns, the Utah Association of Counties, and Utah’s other metropolitan planning organizations, prepared a joint letter of support and principles for state infrastructure investments.
  • Please click here for the letter to the Governor and Lieutenant Governor
  • Please click here for the letter to the Legislature

Over 400 people representing public, private, and community stakeholders across Utah have signed and submitted a letter urging Governor Cox and the State Legislature to invest in high priority, regionally important “active transportation” (i.e. biking and walking) projects throughout the state.

  • Please click here to see the letter and its supporters
Key Pieces of State Legislation

HB433 Amendments Related to Infrastructure Funding (2021)

HB433 Authorizes $1.1 billion in investments in state roads, public transit and active transportation through a combination of the authorization of new bonding and the appropriation of available one-time revenues.

SB217 Housing and Transit Reinvestment Zones (2021)

SB217 HTRZ is intended to get “all hands on deck” to help Utah tackle its housing crisis by facilitating development in the key areas of FrontRunner stations, capitalizing on the anticipated State investment to improve FrontRunner.

SB150 Transportation Governance and Funding Amendments (2020)

SB150 enhances the coordination of transportation, housing, and land use at TOD sites; and modifies provisions related to UTA; transportation funding including TIF/TTIF and TRZs; UDOT’s RUC program; local option transportation sales taxes; class B&C road funds; transportation network companies; and tollways.

SB34 Affordable Housing Modifications (2019)

SB34 encourages local communities to plan for housing for residents of all income levels, and coordinate that housing with transportation. Communities are required to develop a moderate income housing (MIH) plan as part of their general plan. Communities that are required to annually report on their MIH plan implementation must satisfy these requirements to remain eligible for state transportation investments.

SB72 Transportation Governance and Funding Revisions (2019)

SB72 is a follow up to SB136 (2018) and addresses some policy and some technical issues, including making the allowable uses of local option sales taxes for transportation more flexible and consistent across the “quarters”; adjusting UTA and UDOT governance and nomination process; authorizing state transportation capital funds to be used for active transportation projects; establishing guidelines for the road usage charge program; and further describing Transportation Reinvestment Zones (TRZs).

SB136 Transportation Governance Amendments (2018)

Senate Bill (SB) 136, co-sponsored by Senator Wayne Harper and Representative Mike Schultz, is a significant, positive step forward for the future of the Wasatch Front region and state. Utah is growing and changing, and with that comes the need to efficiently use resources to provide transportation choices for our communities. SB 136 provides efficient use of limited resources, as well as a systematic approach to transportation planning that considers both land use and economic development throughout the state.

HB362 Transportation Infrastructure Funding (2015)

On March 12, 2015, the Utah State Legislature passed House Bill (HB) 362 Transportation Infrastructure Funding, and on March 27, Governor Gary Herbert signed the bill into law. This law reformed the state fuel tax to keep pace with inflation and provided local communities with the tools to help address their transportation needs. HB 362 was the first law in 18-years to modify the state fuel tax and the first in state history to comprehensively fund road, transit, bike, and pedestrian infrastructure. HB 362 contained two main provisions: 1) reform and increase of the state fuel tax and 2) local option sales tax for transportation.

Federal Legislation and Policy

Key federal transportation funding and policy items.

Utah’s transportation agencies and partners have jointly developed a set of Federal Transportation Reauthorization Principles. We worked together to develop these key principles for a multi-year reauthorization that reflects Utah priorities with an eye toward Utah’s unique needs.

Key State Policies

Local Option Transportation Sales Taxes

Utah State law authorizes the imposition of local option sales taxes for transportation, which is sometimes referred to as “quarters” because generally they are 0.25% tax rates. These local options provide funding for city and county roads and active transportation needs, as well as public transit.

Transportation Reinvestment Zones (TRZ)

Utah State law authorizes the creation of a TRZ by two or more public agencies by interlocal agreement to capture increased property or sales tax revenue generated by a transportation infrastructure project. TRZs are a tool to assist local governments with the funding and implementation of transportation infrastructure.

Housing and Transit Reinvestment Zones (HTRZ)

Utah State law enables a portion of incremental tax revenue growth to be captured over a period of time to support mixed-use, multi-family and affordable housing development within a 1/3-mile radius of UTA FrontRunner stations.

Cache of Government Affairs Outreach
What to Expect During the Legislative Session
  1. Weekly Emails to our members that includes transportation and related legislation and other government affairs updates. To sign up for WFRC’s weekly emails, please contact Andrea Pearson.
  2. Weekly Meetings during the session with our members and key partners to discuss and prioritize relevant legislation.
    When: Thursdays at 8am
    Where: Virtually through Zoom
  3. Tracking relevant transportation, economic development, air quality, and land use legislation and sharing on our Bill Tracker webpage, also available in a Google spreadsheet format.
Bill Tracker

WFRC tracks bills that especially impact transportation and communities along the Wasatch Front during the legislative session.

Legislative Session Wrap-Up

WFRC monitored relevant legislative activity related to transportation and its nexus to land use and economic development during the legislative session.

Contact Information

Miranda Jones Cox
Government Affairs Manager

Wasatch Front Regional Council
41 North Rio Grande Street
Salt Lake City, Utah 84101

Office: 801-363-4250
Cell: 435-691-3043

 

 

 

 

 

 

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