CSAC Bulletin Article

Housing, Land Use and Transportation 02/14/2011

Transportation Tax Swap Fix Moves to Full Budget Committee

CSAC continues to support swift action to validate by a two-thirds vote the Prop 42 transportation replacement taxes contained in the Transportation Tax Swap (swap) adopted back in March 2010. As you may recall this is necessary due to the passage of Proposition 26 which retroactively applies the two-thirds vote requirement for adopting taxes. Although the taxes adopted in the swap do not reflect a tax increase as they were simply replacing the sales taxes also eliminated in the swap, it is opined that Proposition 26 will invalidate the replacement taxes. 

The Assembly Budget Subcommittee No. 3 approved the Governor’s Budget proposal to fix the swap including the validation of the replacement taxes with the two Republican members not voting for the proposal. The Senate Subcommittee No. 2 voted to hold the item open and move it to the full Budget Committee. CSAC and other transportation advocates stressed the importance of acting quickly to validate the replacement taxes in order to provide certainty and keep projects moving. Counties need to urge their legislators to act on the “comprehensive swap fix” this March, which is when the Legislature and Governor are targeting action on the overall budget in order to make the June ballot.

Further, both Subcommittees approved the technical fixes CSAC is pursuing. The first change would provide a one year extension in the Proposition 1B use-it-or-lose-it provisions for cities and counties. More specifically, statute requires that Proposition 1B Local Streets and Roads (LSR) funds be expended within three fiscal years after the fiscal year in which the State Controller makes the allocation. This means the following: 

1st Appropriation: FY 2007-08 ($400 million) – Use-it-or-lose-it by June 30, 2011

2nd Appropriation: FY 2007-08 Supplemental ($87 million) – Use-it-or-lose-it by June 30, 2011

3rd Appropriation: FY 2008-09 ($63 million) – Use-it-or-lose-it by June 30, 2012

4th Appropriation: FY 2009-10 ($442 million) – Use-it-or-lose-it by June 30, 2013

The Highway User Tax Account (HUTA) deferrals for FY 2008-09, FY 2009-10 and FY 2010-11 included a statutory provision to allow counties to use Proposition 1B LSR funds to backfill deferred transportation revenues. As such, some counties are struggling to meet the use-it-or-lose-it requirements as they cannot simultaneously use Proposition 1B funds to backfill deferrals and use the funding to move forward with projects. Deferrals were paid back, or will be paid back in the case of FY 2010-11 deferrals, at the end of each fiscal year (on or within two business days of April 28th). This essentially eliminates one full year counties have to expend bond funds on actual bond projects. Therefore, we are asking for the one additional year to expend funds for every fiscal year in which we use Proposition 1B to backfill deferrals. Without the deferrals, counties would have been able to expend all bond funds within the allowed timeframes. In addition, some cities and counties that used Proposition 1B for more complicated projects need the full three years provided in the use-it-or-lose-it statute.

Second, we are seeking clarification that the new HUTA funds under the swap fall under the same statutory provisions as the existing HUTA. The provision we are seeking simply clarifies that the Proposition 42 statute related to project eligibility, application of the Prop 42 maintenance of effort (MOE) and use-it-or-lose-it provisions do not apply. Further, we understand that the State Controller has opined that the new HUTA is subject to Proposition 42 provisions and thus remain concerned that at audit time (end of the fiscal year) cities and counties may face problems if all HUTA is not treated equally.

California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA)

AB 320 (Hill) – Request for Comment
As Introduced on February 9, 2011

The California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) provides a procedure by which a party may attack, review, set aside, void, or annul the determination, finding, or decision of a public agency and requires that a petitioner or plaintiff name, as a real party in interest, a recipient of an approval that is the subject of an action or proceeding challenging the determination, finding, or decision of a public agency pursuant to CEQA.

AB 320, by Assembly Member Jerry Hill, would require that the named recipient be as identified by the public agency in its notice of determination or notice of exemption. The bill would require that a petition or complaint be subject to dismissal if a petitioner or plaintiff fails to serve any recipient of an approval within the statute of limitations period. The bill would provide that the above requirement would not apply to a proceeding for judicial review filed pursuant to CEQA that is pending on or before December 31, 2011, or to actions or proceedings challenging an act or decision of a public agency for which a notice of decision or notice of exemption was filed on or before December 31, 2011. The bill would require a notice of approval or notice of determination to contain the name of the recipient of the agency’s approval, if any.

CSAC is requesting counties review the measure and provide feedback as soon as is practical.

AB 320 is awaiting committee assignment. 

SB 226 (Simitian) – Request for Comment
As Introduced on February 9, 2011

CEQA requires a lead agency to call a scoping meeting for a project of statewide, regional, or area wide significance, and requires the lead agency to provide notice of at least one of those scoping meetings to specified entities, including a county or city that borders on a county or city within which the project is located, unless otherwise designated annually by agreement between the lead agency and county or city.

SB 226, by Senator Joe Simitian, would authorize the referral of a proposed action to adopt or substantially amend a general plan to a city or county within or abutting the area covered by the proposal by a planning agency prior to action by a legislative body to adopt or amend the general plan to be conducted concurrently with the scoping meeting. The city or county would be authorized to submit specified comments at the scoping meeting. 

CSAC is requesting counties review the measure and provide feedback as soon as is practical.

SB 226 is awaiting committee assignment.

Housing

AB 147 (Dickinon) – Sponsor
As Introduced on January 14, 2011

AB 147, by Assembly Member Roger Dickinson, would, under the Subdivision Map Act, expand the existing eligible uses for transportation mitigation impacts fees to transit, bicycle, and pedestrian facilities. 

This is a CSAC sponsored bill intended to provide cities and counties with the tools necessary to build required infrastructure to support infill development by expanding the allowable uses for transportation mitigation impact fees. 

CSAC is requesting that counties send letters of support to Assembly Member Roger Dickinson. CSAC will send out a fact sheet to the CSAC Housing, Land Use, and Transportation Policy Committee to assist with this effort. 

AB 147 is awaiting a hearing before the Assembly Local Government Committee. 

AB 264 (Hagman) – Request for Comment
As Introduced on February 7, 2011

AB 264, by Assembly Member Curt Hagman, would require operators of transitional housing to notify the city or county and residents within 300 feet of the property when a transitional housing facility will be established so that the city or county and residents have specified knowledge about the transitional housing facility.

CSAC is requesting counties review the measure and provide feedback as soon as is practical.

AB 264 is awaiting committee assignment.

Land Use

AB 208 (Fuentes) – Request for Comment
As Introduced on January 31, 2011

AB 208, by Assembly Member Felipe Fuentes, would extend, by 24 months, the expiration date of any approved tentative map or vesting tentative map that has not expired as of the effective date of this act and will expire prior to January 1, 2014. The measure would also provide that a tentative map extended pursuant to these provisions is also subject to the truncated three-year period described above, and that the local agency is not prohibited from levying a fee, or imposing a condition that requires the payment of a fee upon the issuance of a building permit, with respect to the underlying units.

CSAC is requesting counties review the measure and provide feedback as soon as is practical.

AB 208 is awaiting committee assignment.

Indian Gaming

AB 307 (Nestande) – Request for Comment
As Introduced on February 9, 2011

AB 307, by Assembly Member Brian Nestande, would include a federally recognized Indian tribe as a public agency that may enter into a joint powers agreement. The measure would also prohibit any joint powers authority that includes a federally recognized Indian tribe from authorizing or issuing bonds pursuant to the Marks-Roos Local Bond Pooling Act of 1985 unless the public improvements to be funded by the bonds will be owned and maintained by the authority or one or more of its public agency members, and the revenue streams pledged to repay the bonds derive from the authority or one or more of its public agency members.

CSAC is requesting counties review the measure and provide feedback as soon as is practical.

AB 307 is awaiting committee assignment

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