In a conservative Republican state, how does a governor raise taxes, issue bonds and ask local taxpayers to pay even more for transportation?
According to Utah Governor Gary Herbert, you do it by building a coalition of business, industry, churches and educational groups united on one goal: moving people around the state.
“You have to set the table and then you have to deliver,” Herbert, a Republican, said.
“Setting the table” involved at least two years of forging a coalition of interested parties, all of which rely on transportation, to support raising money to build and rebuild Utah’s multifaceted transportation system.
Although nearly every state is struggling to maintain and rebuild its transportation system, Utah is one of only seven states where the legislature this year approved an increase in gas taxes to do it, according to Citizens for Tax Justice, a left-leaning research and advocacy group that focuses on policy.
Georgia, Idaho, Iowa, Nebraska, South Dakota and Washington were the others.