Friday, January 30, 2015

2015 Membership Renewal

Thank you for your membership in the Utah Asphalt Pavement Association (UAPA) in 2014.  As a New Year is upon us, I hope you will consider renewing your membership for 2015 in this engaging and dynamic association which, I believe, is making a tremendous difference in our industry.
As we review the year that has been, here are just a few highlights that UAPA was a part of in 2014:
  • Thanks to the generous support of our members and others, UAPA successfully raised close to three thousand dollars for the Boys & Girls Club of Sandy to help troubled and disadvantaged youth living along the Wasatch Front. 
  • UAPA, through the concerted efforts of some of its members, worked with Questar Gas Company to mitigate the potential impacts of a significant rate increase to the cost of natural gas to our member companies and, more importantly, to our customers during the 2014 construction season.
  • The 2014 Utah Asphalt Conference was the largest in its history with over five hundred attendees, including fifty booth vendors, and over twenty-five different sessions of education available to attendees. The 2015 Asphalt Conference (February 25th-26th) is already on track to be even bigger and better and I hope to see all of you there!
  • This past fall, UAPA hosted its First-Annual Southern Utah Asphalt Seminar at the Dixie Center in St George. This event brought in well over one hundred attendees, more than a dozen exhibitors and sponsors, and proved to be an excellent event for many of our southern Utah members.
  • In addition to hosting our first-ever roundtable discussion for our asphalt placement contractors, we also went to work on and successfully changed a number of specifications affecting industry.  Some of the changes include UDOT’s microsurfacing specification, the APWA’s trench specification, UDOT’s binder acceptance and certification program, and an expansion to UDOT’s gradation table for HMA mixes.
There is much more we could discuss, but I hope this paints you a broad picture of an association that is actively working to make our industry and our community better.  Challenges remain, and new opportunities will certainly arise throughout 2015; that is why your continued support and participation is so vital to this association and to our industry.
Thank you for helping us to make 2014 an amazing year.  A year that saw UAPA grow and mature in many ways giving us a great vision for the future.  We look forward to your participation and to working with you this year in 2015. 

Click Here to take you to the membership applications for 2015 Membership Dues. Please complete the application and send your payment at your earliest convenience.

Your membership check and application can be mailed to:

The Utah Asphalt Pavement Association
7414 S. State Street
Midvale, UT 84047

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me via email at or on the phone at (801) 916-2426.

With appreciation,                                                                                   
W. Reed Ryan
Executive Director
The Utah Asphalt Pavement Association

Executive Director Message January 2015

Don’t Delay! The Time for An Increased Investment In Utah’s Transportation Funding Is NOW! Make Your Voice Heard Today!

Dear Friends of UAPA:

It may come as no surprise to many of you, but Utah's transportation agencies have calculated an $11 billion shortfall in transportation funding between now and 2040.

Similarly, in the 18 years since the gas tax was last adjusted, its buying power has declined by 48 percent, even while transportation material costs have increased by as much as 300 percent.

City and county governments are struggling to build and maintain their transportation facilities because their share of the state gas tax covers less than half of their transportation costs.

If we delay now in finding solutions our system will deteriorate, and our funding shortfall will expand. But, if we work together now to craft a comprehensive solution for transportation funding we will see tremendous benefits.

Momentum and collaboration exist to address these issues. Private businesses, cities and counties, trade associations, and others, including UAPA, have come together to form the Utah Transportation Coalition to work toward a comprehensive solution.

If we act in the spirit of wise stewardship for which Utah is known, a healthier and more prosperous future awaits.

By enhancing and preserving our state and local road and transit systems we'll help to keep Utah one of the best places to work and to live. Join with UAPA, the Transportation Coalition, and others to keep Utah moving.

Take action!  Make your voice heard on the importance of increased funding for wise and sound infrastructure by writing the your senator or representative at the Utah State Legislature by clicking on this LINK today! 

                                                                        Best regards,

                                                                        W. Reed Ryan

                                                                        The Utah Asphalt Pavement Association

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Legislators: Utah Tax Hikes Coming for Gas, Roads, Transit

Legislative leaders signaled Tuesday that taxes for transportation almost surely will go up this year and likely will undergo a vast transformation, too.
That includes a proposal not only to increase gasoline tax — maybe by 10 cents a gallon — but also to restructure it so that it could automatically adjust once a year to keep pace with inflation.
Lawmakers are also proposing to let counties increase their sales tax by a quarter-cent per dollar purchase to help fund local road projects, although areas with mass transit systems would be required to use much of the extra revenue for bus and train service.
Finally, they propose to raise registration fees on electric or alternative-fuel vehicles. The owners now pay little or no gasoline tax. Lawmakers say that would help ensure they pay their fair share for road maintenance and construction.
"We have talked about concepts now for two years," House Transportation Committee Chairman Johnny Anderson, R-Taylorsville, told a forum of the Utah Highway Users Association. "Know that the work is about to be done" to raise tax for transportation.
The Legislature is trying to cover an estimated $11 billion shortfall for priority projects in the state’s unified transportation plan through 2040. The state has even stopped maintaining some rural highways for lack of money.
Anderson said the House GOP Caucus last month endorsed not only transportation-tax hikes, but also the idea to "dump our antiquated" tax system for one that automatically keeps up with inflation and makes those now escaping gas tax contribute.
Senate President Wayne Niederhauser, R-Sandy, told the forum that the Senate has not yet bought into the idea of reforming the tax system, but it probably supports tax increases for transportation.
"Personally, I feel like we just need to buck up and increase the gasoline tax" without changing its structure, he said.
The state gasoline tax is currently a flat 24.5 cents per gallon. It has not been increased since 1997. "To capture the inflation that we have lost in the past 15 years, we would need to increase gas tax by 10 cents a gallon," Niederhauser said.
He adds that the current cents-per-gallon tax is stable and allows accurate projections for revenue, but raising it is politically difficult "because it is the second-most hated tax" behind property tax.
Anderson said he is writing legislation that would change the current per-gallon gasoline tax to a percentage tax on the price of fuel. 
He said revenues would then rise (or drop) with the price of gasoline without the Legislature needing to act.
That percentage likely would be adjusted by formula once a year based on gasoline price averages for the previous 12 to 18 months to help smooth out the effect of price volatility on revenues, Anderson said.
Formulas would include floors to prevent revenues from dropping too low, and ceilings to prevent too much of a windfall if gas prices increase rapidly.
Niederhauser said he worries that wide fluctuations in the price of gasoline could hurt stable transportation funding and planning. "We’ve got to balance volatility with the pain of future legislatures in having to raise the gas tax," he said.
Anderson said he is also writing legislation to allow counties to raise sales tax by a quarter-cent to help fund county and city road projects. But in areas with transit systems, he would require perhaps 60 percent of that to go to transit.
Such areas would then be allowed to increase their sales tax even further to make up for some of the amount diverted to transit.