Utah Gov. Gary Herbert (R) signed a measure Dec. 18 that will impose the 4.85 percent state sales tax to gasoline purchases at the pump and increase the state diesel tax. This will result in an initial 12-cents-per-gallon gas tax increase and 6-cents-per-gallon diesel tax increase, beginning April 2020, with an additional 4 cents diesel tax increase in 2022. The measure, which includes an income tax reduction for state residents and increases the grocery tax, would generate an estimated $170 million for transportation investment in 2021.

The current excise tax on fuel covers less than one-third of road upkeep costs, according to state Sen. Lyle Hillyard (R-Logan). Senate President Stuart Adams (R- Layton) stated the measure is “probably at best a temporary solution” while the state grapples with a long-term transportation funding solution.

Senate Bill 2001 (SB 2001) was introduced in special session on Dec. 11. The House approved the tax reform measure 42-27 on Dec. 12, with the Senate following 19-7 the same day. Among other tax elements, SB 2001 also applies the state sales tax to rideshare services.

Four other states apply their general sales tax to motor fuel purchases.