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Legislative Updates

The Utah legislature has been busy making various updates to legislation that affects our roads and transportation systems. Here are two recent updates you should know about:

Decrease in Gas Tax
Let’s start off with the good news. The Utah State Legislature has lowered the tax rate on the sale, use, or receipt for sale of motor fuel in the state. The tax rate is decreasing from 16.5% to 14.2% of the statewide average rack price. Additionally, it has established limits on the rack price from now until 2028.

The maximum rack price for a gallon of gas in Utah cannot be more than the following:

$2.57, beginning January 1, 2024
$2.71, beginning January 1, 2025
$2.82, beginning January 1, 2026
$2.96, beginning January 1, 2028
While this change can be good for your pocketbook, it also means that more people may be traveling, as the Wall Street Journal reports. More people on the road could mean more wrecks, so try to stay safe out there.

While gas prices may be lower, not all costs of transportation are decreasing. The Utah State Legislature is increasing annual vehicle registration fees by $7. It is also imposing a 12.5% tax on the sale of electricity at an electrical vehicle charging station or subscription to charge or recharge an electric vehicle.

Move Over Requirements
In an effort to protect road workers and others, the Utah State Legislature passed a number of provisions included in Senate Bill 27 to revise transportation laws. Key among these are:

Motorists can no longer pass a snowplow on the side where the snowplow is deployed.
Motorists cannot pass three or more snowplows operating in echelon formation.
Motorists must move over to avoid hitting a stopped vehicle on the side of a highway.
In addition to these legislative updates, the Utah State Legislature also approved billions of dollars in appropriations for transportation uses, including a one-time appropriation of $108 million for the Point backbone infrastructure project, which will extend Porter Rockwell Blvd. and construct major roadways.

Kevin Swenson was raised in Bountiful, Utah, and is a co-founding partner of Swenson & Shelley. After graduating from Bountiful High School, Kevin attended business school at Westminster College.