The California Transportation Commission recently adopted the 2018 State Transportation Improvement Program (STIP), which is expected to fund more than $3 billion in transportation projects over the next five years.
The transportation improvement program, which outlines financing plans for future highways, intercity rail and transit projects, is adopted for a five-year period and updated every two years. The 2018 program covers the period from 2018 to 2022.
Funding for the improvement program was made possible through the Road Repair and Accountability Act of 2017, also known as Senate Bill 1, which raises an estimated $5.4 billion annually in new transportation revenues. The 2018 STIP provides California counties with the chance to fully restore projects deleted in 2016, as well as the opportunity to fund additional transportation priorities. “
Just two years ago, a funding shortfall forced the Commission to delete and delay about $1.5 billion in projects from the 2016 STIP,” said CTC Commissioner Lucy Dunn. “That was a blow to communities counting on traffic relief. The gas tax revenue stabilized by SB 1 will help us restore many projects that were cut and fund new projects for much-needed transportation improvements across California.”
Don’t Stop SB 1
There were two efforts to put a ballot measure before California voters to repeal SB 1. The first one submitted by State Representative Travis Allen failed for lack of sufficient signatures.
The second one, California Voter Approval for Gas and Vehicle Taxes Initiative Reform California, sponsored by San Diego radio host Carl DeMaio, may appear on the ballot in California as a citizen initiated constitutional amendment on November 6, 2018.
The measure would require majority voter approval for the state legislature to impose, increase, or extend a tax on gasoline, diesel fuel, or the operation of a vehicle or trailer coach on public highways.
The measure would not apply to tax rates in effect on January 1, 2017. Any tax or tax rate enacted after January 1, 2017, would cease unless and until approved by a majority of voters.
The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority says that if it happens, cities in L.A. County would lose billions over the next decade. In January, the Metro Board voted to support Proposition 69 (ACA 5), which protect the revenues generated from SB 1, and to oppose any efforts to repeal SB 1.
ECA agrees with the Metro analysis. If DeMaio’s petition survives the signature inspection process then we will be on the front lines in support of the opportunities for our members provided by SB1.
By Wes May ECA Executive Director
Email: [email protected]