California counties are seeing a significant influx of new revenue to invest in local streets, bridges and roads as well as mass transit from Senate Bill 1, a funding package signed into law in April 2017.
Called the Road Repair and Accountabiltiy Act of 2017, the measure increases several taxes and fees to raise more than $5 billion annually in new transportation revenues. SB 1 includes strict accountability provisions to reduce waste and bureaucracy and dedicates all funds to transportation improvements.
Where does the money go?
The state of California will receive approximately half of the annual revenue from SB 1 for state-maintained transportation infrastructure. The other half will go to local roads, transit agencies and an expansion of the state's growing network of pedestrian and cycle routes.
Each year, this new funding will be used to tackle deferred maintenance needs both on the state highway system and the local road system, including approximately:
- $1.5 billion for maintenance and rehabilitation of the state highway system.
- $1.5 billion for repairs to local streets and roads
- $400 million for bridge maintenance and repairs
- $300 million for trade corridor enhancements (freight projects)
- $250 million to improve traffic flow and mobility along some of the state's most congested routes
- $200 million in matching funds for cities and counties that already are tackling similar problems with local, voter-approved transportation tax measures (this includes San Mateo County)
- $100 million for bike and pedestrian projects
- $750 million in new funding for transit agencies
Additional funds will go toward local planning grants, freeway service patrols, workforce training and transportation-related research.
How much funding does the County of San Mateo receive?
The County will receive approximately $3.3 million in new revenue for the 2017-18 fiscal year and approxiately $9.6 million in the 2018-19 fiscal year (the first full fiscal year new gas taxes will be in effect). The California Department of Transportation estimates the County will receive approximately $100 million in new revenue over the next 10 years (to fiscal year 2026-27).
The 20 cities within San Mateo County will also each receive funds from the measure.
How much will SB cost California families each year?
The California Department of Finance calculated that the average cost to motorists is roughly $10 each month. Here’s the math:
Vehicle Registration: Nearly 50 percent of all registered vehicles in California are valued at less than $5,000. Forty percent are valued at less than $25,000. Thus, the average annual amount for vehicle registration is approximately $48.
Fuel: California’s 26 million licensed drivers consume 15.5 billion gallons per year. That is 577 gallons per driver, multiplied by 12 cents per gallon is $69.24 each.
The estimated annual cost per driver is:
|$117.09 per year, or $9.76 per month
How does SB 1 help alleviate congestion? Will SB 1 help build new road capacity?
SB 1 funds can be used to build new roads and increase capacity on existing roads and highways. SB 1 also invests in technology and other infrastructure that is proven to reduce congestion on the existing transportation network.
Will any of the SB 1 funding go into the State's General Fund?
No funding from SB 1 goes into the General Fund. Revenues go directly into transportation accounts and are constitutionally protected.
Will any of SB 1 revenues be used to pay back old transportation loans?
No. All outstanding transportation loans are being repaid by the General Fund. In fact, the FY 2016-17 state budget already started to repay those loans. SB 1 requires all loans to be repaid by 2020.
Will SB 1 fund High-Speed Rail?
No funds raised from SB 1 will be used to fund High-Speed Rail. California’s state-maintained transportation infrastructure will receive roughly half of SB 1 revenue: $26 billion. The other half will go to local roads, transit agencies and an expansion of the state’s growing network of pedestrian and cycle routes. There is no remaining balance that could be used for the high-speed rail project. A full overview of how the funds are allocated can be found here.