On Wednesday, Governor Jerry Brown, President pro Tempore Kevin de León, and Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon announced a ten-year, $5.2 billion road repair and transportation investment package, the largest potential overhaul of transportation funding in the state in more than 25 years.
The $5 billion per year in new revenues will come from a 12-cent gasoline excise tax (effective November 2017), a new transportation improvement fee charged on vehicle registrations (based on the value of the vehicle), an additional $100 zero-emission vehicle fee (effective 2020), a 20-cent diesel excise tax (effective November 2017), and a 4 percent diesel sales tax increase. The Governor stressed that the package comes with strict new accountability provisions to ensure funds can only be spent on transportation.
The proposed package allocates $3 billion per year to fix-it-first road and highway maintenance projects, split evenly between state and local governments. RCRC’s Board of Directors debated Senate Bill 1 (Beall)/Assembly Bill 1 (Frazier), the legislative transportation funding package introduced earlier this year, at the March Board of Directors meeting in Sacramento. While this initial package proposed significant tax increases, SB1/AB1, like the recently unveiled transportation funding package, was thought to offer the best opportunity for rehabilitating rural county’s local roads and rural state highways.
The newly proposed deal is expected to be amended into Senate Bill 1, and an April 6, 2017 deadline has been set to approve the package.