SB 1 - Statewide Transportation Funding
On November 6, California residents voted against Prop. 6, which would have cut more than $5 billion per year in transportation funding statewide. The measure would have done this by repealing 2017’s Senate Bill 1 (SB 1)–the most significant state investment in transportation in California history. Proposition 6 would have also subjected any future tax on motor vehicle fuel, or vehicles themselves, to a vote of the people. As a result, this measure would have repealed SB 1 and required voter approval of any future effort to fund improvements to transportation with transportation-related taxes. By voting against Proposition 6, California residents voted to preserve funding that addresses the condition of local streets and roads, transit systems and state highways, as described in more detail here.
SB 1 Funding for Culver City
Funding levels for the maintenance and rehabilitation of the City’s local roads were insufficient before SB 1, due in large part to the state not raising the gasoline tax since 1994. With new SB 1 funding, pavement conditions can be expected to improve. Culver CityBus will be granted flexible budgets, which will result in an expanded selection of service and less state-of-good-repair priorities. Congestion-relief projects and transit system expansions will follow an agreeable timeline. On September 11, 2018, the City Council adopted a position opposing the repeal of “The Road Repair and Accountability Act” (SB 1), Prop. 6.
The greatest impact on the region’s transportation system resulting from SB 1 funds would be the improved condition of local streets and roads. Statewide, SB 1 is expected to generate more than $5 billion annually for road repairs, to ease traffic congestion, to fill potholes, make seismic safety improvements to bridges and overpasses, and repair local streets and freeways. Funding in SB 1 is split equally between state and local governments. SB 1 also includes accountability provisions and constitutional protections, such as the creation of the Office of Inspector General, to ensure the funding is spent wisely and on transportation projects only. In Culver City, SB 1 funds have been used to resurface a portion of Sepulveda Boulevard and are scheduled to be used for the paving of Overland Avenue from Washington Boulevard to Ballona Creek early next year.
California has a backlog of $130 billion in needed road and bridge maintenance projects ($57 billion in state highways; $55 billion in local streets and roads). Not surprisingly, bumpy roads are putting considerable wear and tear on vehicles. In addition, aging bridges required maintenance and in some cases replacement to keep them useful and safe into the future. It is estimated that the average California driver pays an additional $739 annually for car repairs due to driving on poor roads. Whether driving, riding the bus, cycling or walking, Culver City residents can expect better local road conditions because Prop. 6 was rejected.
In dollar terms, SB 1 funds contribute to funding for local street and bridge maintenance by approximately $665,952 annually. These funds go toward maintaining and rehabilitating 120 centerline miles of streets in Culver City, seven bridges, and active transportation infrastructure citywide. Over 10 years, approximately $6.7 million in capital investment can be gained. Because this work is being addressed now or in the near future, repairs to the city’s transportation system will cost substantially less, in some cases up to half of what it would cost in the future.
The SB1 fund allocation for Culver CityBus Transit Operations equal $522,507 in State Transit Assistance (STA) funds for FY 2018-19. This amount augments the existing STA program and can be used on any transit agency operational needs, whether it be enhancing service, paying for rising fuel costs, boosting safety measures or expanding the system. Another $240,187 is allocated in State of Good Repair (SGR) funds, which are utilized toward Transit Bus Preventive Maintenance to ensure buses are operating safely and are well-maintained, thus extending the useful life of these capital assets.
Los Angeles County
Local street and road funding for every city and county in the state is distributed by formula. All 88 cities and Los Angeles County’s unincorporated areas will receive $272 million annually, which can be spent on road maintenance and rehabilitation, bridge maintenance and replacement, safety, railroad grade separations, traffic control devices and complete streets components, including pedestrian and bicycle safety projects. Cities and counties already have submitted specific plans to the California Transportation Commission for use of these funds. To see specific projects planned by individual jurisdictions, visit the local funding page on the SB 1 project website.
State Gas Tax Hikes Since 1993
With the passage of SB 1 in 2017, California joined the ranks of 38 states and the District of Columbia in passing legislation to raise their own state gas taxes since Congress last did in 1993. The largest transportation investment in state history, SB 1 will result in $52 billion for California's roads, bridges, and transit systems over the next decade with ongoing annual revenues of over $5 billion per year thereafter.
Additional Background on SB 1
In April 2017, the Legislature enacted Senate Bill 1, sponsored by Senator Jim Beall. The transportation bill provides approximately $5 billion per year in ongoing state funding after decades of underinvestment by the state. The primary goal of SB 1 was to restore the condition of the state highway and local road systems, which face maintenance backlogs of $59 billion and $55 billion, respectively. While state and local roadway maintenance projects receive the vast majority of SB 1 funds, the law also provides new funding for enhanced travel options and congestion reduction, establishing a Corridor Mobility Improvement Program, a Trade Corridors Improvement Program and the Local Partnership Program that rewards local jurisdictions with voter-approved funding for transportation), plus funding increases for the existing Transit and Intercity Rail Capital, State Transit Assistance and Active Transportation programs.
SB 1 is funded by adjustments to roadway user fees assessed on gasoline, diesel fuel, and motor vehicles. Proposition 69 – approved by 81 percent of voters in June 2018 – added a provision to the California Constitution ensuring that all SB 1 funding sources are protected from diversion to the General Fund or to any non-transportation purpose.
New revenue measures contained in SB 1 include:
A 12-cent/gallon increase in the state’s gasoline excise tax. This amounts to an inflation adjustment to restore the purchasing power lost since the gas tax was last raised in 1994.
A Transportation Improvement Fee, an annual vehicle registration surcharge which varies based on the value of the vehicle and depreciates over time.
A zero-emission vehicle registration surcharge of $100 per year.
A 20-cent/gallon increase in the diesel excise tax.
A 4 percent rate increase in the sales tax on diesel fuel.
For more information about Culver City's use of SB 1 funding, please contact Shelly Wolfberg, Assistant to the City Manager at (310) 253-6008 or via email.