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.
June Legislative Interim Meetings
The Utah Legislature continued to meet during the month of June for interim committee meetings. They will continue to meet monthly now until November to receive reports, study issues, and craft legislation for the 2023 General Session.
Of note at the Transportation Interim Committee’s meeting on Tuesday, June 14th, the Committee received a report from the Utah Transit Authority (UTA) regarding Free Fare February. Jay Fox, UTA Executive Director, discussed the positive impacts on ridership during the month of February when fare collection was suspended. Fox also highlighted how UTA collaborated with WFRC, MAG, Salt Lake City, and major employers and institutions to cover the gap in lost farebox revenue. This is not the end of the free fare discussion, as WFRC, in partnership with the Mountainland Association of Governments (MAG), UDOT, and UTA, is conducting a comprehensive Zero Fare Study to examine the feasibility of such a fare structure in the future. The study includes examining the community impacts, operations, capital requirements, and safety and security, and is expected to be published this fall.
Additionally, the Committee received a report on large infrastructure projects being overseen by the Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT) and UTA. As you may recall, HB322 (Public Transit Capital Development Modifications) gives UDOT responsibility over capital projects at UTA, including project planning for FrontRunner and Point of the Mountain. While UDOT has responsibility over delivery of public transportation projects, UTA will continue to coordinate closely with UDOT and operate the UTA system. Supporting ridership is a joint goal of both organizations in efforts to support economic growth, improve air quality, and offer travel choices.
SB140 Housing and Transit Reinvestment Zone Amendments (2022)
SB140 authorizes a limited expansion of Housing and Transit Reinvestment Zones (HTRZ) to light rail and bus rapid transit (BRT) stations.
HB462 Utah Housing Affordability Amendments (2022)
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.
State Legislation Archive (pre-2020)
Federal Infrastructure Bill
The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) provides $1.2 trillion in infrastructure funding, of which $550 billion is new funding above baseline levels over five years for roads, bridges, rail, transit, ports, airports, water, broadband, and other infrastructure programs. The bill also includes a 5-year surface transportation reauthorization.
Federal Transportation Reauthorization Principles
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.
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.
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.
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.