UTA asking for more funding; could come from sales tax

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SALT LAKE CITY – The Utah Transit Authority is asking for more funding for service improvements over the next 30 years.

The 2040 Unified Plan recommends an increase in transit funding, which could come from sales tax. If the increase is approved, a penny for every dollar spent in Utah would go to UTA.

Rep. Janice Fisher, D-West Valley City, is against a sales tax increase.

“I’m not about to vote for an increase as long as we read about these enormous bonuses given by UTA,” Fisher said. “Now it is a problem. it is a problem for the community, it’s a problem for me, it’s a problem for people getting huge bonuses for doing their damn job.”

But UTA spokesman Remi Barron says UTA salaries are in the median for an agency of its size.

“Our executive pay is right in the middle for transit agencies of our size across the country. Other transit agencies that have train and bus service and are big complicated agencies like ours, our salaries are right in the median,” Barron said.

UTA says their existing funding is sufficient for the current system, but they will need more funding for the 2040 plan.