Task force may study funding Utah transportation

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Legislators may soon form a new task force to study how to fund the state's transportation needs —¬†including looking at how other states and nations do it.

The Senate Transportation, Public Utilities and Technology Committee unanimously endorsed SB63 on Wednesday, and sent it to the full Senate. It would form a nine-member task force of legislators to work on the issue through next summer. The bill would authorize spending $36,000 for the effort.

"I understand there's about an $11 billion shortfall in cities and counties for maintenance of their roads over the next 15 to 20 years," said Sen. Wayne Harper, R-Taylorsville, sponsor of the bill. "It's also tens of billions of dollars for the state to maintain its very good system of roads."

Harper added that the group's job would be to find "where are we now, what are our challenges, what are other state and other countries doing to fund transportation opportunities and challenges, and come back with some recommendations."

He expects it to look at potential increases in such things as gasoline taxes and registration fees —¬†or other sources.

— Lee Davidson