From: Eric Balls
To: Dean Sanpei,
Subject: Support H.B. 135 – Transportation Funding Amendments
Date: Fri Feb 21 17:23:12 MST 2014

Dear State Representative Sanpei,

Utah’s Unified Transportation Plan has been regarded as national best practice and identified that our state faces an $11.3 billion short-fall in transportation funding by 2040. This shortfall affects every community in our state. Without prudent action now to close this gap– our economy and quality of life will suffer.

While the Unified Plan takes the long-term view this lack of sustainable funding is already beginning to be realized. Recent major projects, specifically the rebuild of I-15 in Utah County, were largely paid for without an increase in user-fees or other revenue enhancements. If our state were to continue to spend the next five-years at the same rate we did in the previous five, without new revenue, the Legislative Fiscal Analyst projects that the transportation fund will have a $4.9 billion deficit by FY 2017. In the near future there are no more projects like the I-15 Core Project. However, the message should be clear: Our community has significant needs and we need the stable and adequate funding to match that need.

H.B. 135 would begin to address this need. This bill would reduce the motor-fuel tax to a 12.2 cent per gallon base, and adjust annually based on a five maintenance variable index capped at 2% increase and will sunset in 2021. This bill captures the broad base benefit of an efficient and well maintained transportation system. This is not a tax increase as the bill is revenue neutral in its first year and critically preserves purchasing power in the motor-fuel tax through the annual adjustments.

I urge you to support and pass H.B. 135 – Transportation Funding Amendments out committee favorably.

Sincerely, Eric Balls Stakerparson 80 E 100 S, #3 Smithfield, UT 84335