CSAC Bulletin Article

Housing, Land Use and Transportation 01/28/2011

Assembly Budget Subcommittee No. 3 Hearing on Transportation Tax Swap

The transportation coalition, which includes CSAC, the California Transit Association, the League of California Cities, the Regional Council of Rural Counties, and a number of private sector organizations such as the Associated General Contractors and the California Alliance for Jobs remains steadfast in our position that the transportation tax swap fix must be comprehensive in nature – including both a revalidation of the 17.3-cent replacement excise tax and the 1.75 percent sales tax rate on diesel and the weight fee transfer for general fund relief. 

The Legislature began budget subcommittee hearings this week, and in particular the Assembly Budget Subcommittee No. 3 on Resources and Transportation heard from the Department of Finance and the Legislative Analysts Office on options for fixing the transportation tax swap. Supervisor Diane Dillon, Napa County, testified on behalf of all 58 counties, highlighting the negative consequences that would be felt statewide should the Legislature and Governor fail to fix the swap. At risk is $2.5-$3.5 billion in transportation funding and 45,000 to 63,000 jobs. Counties would have to lay off public works staff and be unable to keep local roads safe, reliable, and accessible to all users. The public would experience a substantial decrease in the quality of the county-maintained system and counties’ ability to respond to emergencies would be in jeopardy. 

As previously reported, The Governor’s January 2011-12 state budget proposal includes all elements of a comprehensive fix consistent with the transportation coalition’s proposal. While the Assembly Budget Subcommittee No. 3 did not take any action on Wednesday, legislative and budget staff report that a comprehensive tax swap fix will be part of an overall budget solution. At this time, the Governor and Legislature are aiming to take action on the budget by March 7th.

CSAC Housing, Land Use, & Transportation Policy Committee Meeting

A friendly reminder that the CSAC Housing, Land Use, and Transportation Policy Committee is meeting on Thursday, February 3rd from 9:30 to 11:00 a.m. at the CSAC Office in Sacramento. A conference call line is also available for those unable to travel for the meeting. CSAC staff will provide a state budget and legislative update and the Committee is also set to take action on revisions to the CSAC Platform. A copy of the agenda and location and conference call in information can be found on the CSAC website.

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