Submission Number: UBR-DEIS-00620 

Received: 2/11/2021 6:17:10 PM
Commenter: Senator David  Buxton
Organization: Utah State Legislature
State: Utah

Agency: STB
Initiative: Uinta Basin Railway EIS
UBR-DEIS-00620-59068.pdf Size = 293 KB
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Submission Text

Joshua Wayland, PhD Surface Transportation Board c/o ICF
9300 Lee Highway
Fairfax, VA 22031

Uinta Basin Railway Draft Environmental Impact Statement

RE: Docket No. FD 36284 RDCC Project No. 76724
Dear Mr. Wayland,

I submit the following comments for consideration and support of the Draft EIS noted in (3.13.28) of the Uinta Basin Railway Project analysis.

The Seven County Coalition estimates the cost of construction for the railway project is approximately $1.35 billion for the preferred Whitmore Park alternative. The DEIS analysis estimates an amount of in-state taxable expenditures of $574,000,000. which would result in $27,839,000 state tax revenue. This tax revenue is critically important to communities of Eastern Utah.

State tax revenue minimizes the burden on taxpayers for infrastructure maintenance and helps determine long-term infrastructure planning and more importantly, are a reinvestment into our state' s infrastructure budget which allows for economic sustainability and diverse economy growth. Your analysis suggests that our communities will have an induced benefit from the tax revenue generated for the construction of this project. We believe it goes beyond the tax revenue generated from construction. Ongoing tax revenue from industries that develop around rail services will benefit Eastern Utah and to better address the demands on our current and future infrastructure requirements.
The tax revenue also benefits police and fire services, healthcare and school systems (as well as teachers' salary base); broadband, and state funded technology training centers, all critical to economic growth in Utah. These services attract new industries to rural Utah as well as the Wasatch Front.

I am pleased that the analysis indicates the project has a value return to the region and state of Utah. The value will go beyond tax revenue generated from project construction to include the industries that come to communities with rail service. Thank you for the time put into the analysis provided by your team. Thank you for the opportunity to submit my comments for consideration.
Respectfully Submitted,

David Buxton
Utah Senator - Majority Leadership