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The City Café

For those interested in sharing ideas and perspectives regarding local government.

DOUG MACDONALD

Chart 1 (St. Louis Federal Reserve Bank, http://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/series/ALTSALES)

Chart 1 (St. Louis Federal Reserve Bank, http://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/series/ALTSALES)

Buyers took advantage of low interest rates and “Black Friday” promotions to purchase 1.3 million new light vehicles in November, a 4.6% gain from a year ago.[i] On a seasonally adjusted annual basis, the 17.2 million vehicles were the highest in a decade.

Lower gas prices incentivized the purchase of new trucks and sport utility vehicles, which were up 8.8% from a year earlier, compared to zero growth for new cars. “Continued improvements in employment, home prices, and confidence levels among consumers, along with moderating fuel prices, should sustain auto industry momentum in 2015,” said Chris Hopson of IHS Automotive.

In Utah, a first quarter 2014 sales grew 7.1% at $1.26 billion, was followed by a second quarter increase of 5.6%.  (In 2013, Utah consumers bought $5.13 billion of new cars and trucks, up 13.4% from 2012).  Third quarter sales volume is not out yet, but unit sales of 25,950 were up 2% from a year ago according to the Tax Commission. [ii] Dollar sales volume was up 6.1% in July and 5.1% in August.  We are predicting a 4-6% dollar gain in 2015 as double-digit growth ebbs now as pent-up demand from the recession has been satisfied.

Chart 2

Chart 2

[i]  The New York Times

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/12/03/business/automakers-report-november-sales.html?module=Search&mabReward=relbias%3Ar%2C%7B%221%22%3A%22RI%3A5%22%7D&_r=1

[ii] Economic and Statistical Unit, Utah State Tax Commission

http://tax.utah.gov/econstats/mv/new-sale

Below is a letter from Utah Transportation Coalition Chair David Golden about how to participate in the Coalition.  You can also see more at their website at www.utahtransportation.org 

coalition header 2

Greetings,

Utah’s transportation needs are comprehensive. Unfortunately, communities like yours only receive a fraction of the necessary resources from the state to address all of current and future transportation needs. Utah’s Unified Transportation Plan shows Utah’s cities, towns and counties face an estimated $3 billion shortfall between now and 2040, and that’s just for local maintenance and improvements.

The Utah Transportation Coalition is a group of business and civic leaders including the Salt Lake Chamber, ULCT, and the Utah Association of Counties that are concerned with how Utah’s projected growth and our transportation system will impact our environment, economy and quality of life.  In the future, we want all Utahns to enjoy the best things that life in Utah has to offer, including good air quality and public health, a strong economy, and good-paying jobs. That’s why we’re advocating for transportation investment and a long-term transportation funding solution.

In November the Coalition launched a statewide public education campaign.  Our goal is to help Utahns understand and support our collective investment in infrastructure. We want to remind Utahns, whether we use transportation or not, that we all depend on it.  The campaign will highlight Utah’s transportation needs, from highways to walking trails, from rail lines to stop signs, and show that a sustainable funding approach is critical.

The campaign will be successful with your support. Your investment will join with other Utah cities, towns and counties to cover the cost of the educational outreach. The private sector has pledged the majority amount to propel the effort forward, but business desires to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with local government in this effort. A public-private partnership can make a difference in how we fund infrastructure in Utah for years to come.

The education campaign includes advertisements and communication tools for your community to carry this message to your local area as part of a statewide effort. Contributors to the Coalition will receive access to a communication toolkit of all the pieces we create:

  • Talking points with periodic updates and additions
  • Graphics for newsletters, presentations and social media
  • Ongoing suggestions for social media
  • Videos
  • Fact sheets and utility bill inserts

You can use the items from the toolkit as-is (without additional work by your staff) or personalize the materials for your community. We will also provide a unified message sheet so that we can consistently communicate with our stakeholders and show a unified effort.

For your convenience, we’ll provide an electronic invoice and service agreement for Utah Transportation Coalition participation under a separate cover. Participating cities and towns should provide to the Coalition:

  • IRS W-9 form to verify your Tax Identification Number
  • High-resolution logo (ai, eps, jpg or png file preferred)
  • Contact information for a representative from your organization to receive updates about toolkit materials, campaign information, etc.

Thank you for your consideration to support this unified campaign. This effort will not be successful without the support of cities, counties, and businesses of the Coalition. Together, we can persuade the public and the legislature of the urgency and critical need for prudent investment in our transportation infrastructure.

For more information call or contact Abby Albrecht at (801) 831-6116 or abby.albrecht@gcinc.com.

Thank you,

David R. Golden
Executive Vice President, Wells Fargo
Chair, Utah Transportation Coalition

UTC Kickoff

Here are the latest salient economic indicators from ULCT economist Doug Macdonald:

Stoplights 11-14

 

Cities and towns in Utah receive a 1% sales tax that is distributed by the state using a formula based 50% on population and 50% on point-of-sale.  The Governor’s Office of Management and Budget puts forth population estimates each year that affect the distribution of of this tax, and ULCT economist Doug Macdonald has put together his estimate on how each municipality will be affected by changes in population in both PDF and EXCEL formats.  Contact Doug at dougmacdonald@mac.com with any questions.

 

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