On Friday August 11, Kiana Valentine of CSAC and Derek Dolfie of the League of California Cities presented updates and pertinent information on SB 1: the Road Repair and Accountability Act of 2017. This new law will raise funds through a 12-cent gas tax starting in November, a “transportation improvement fee” on vehicle registrations starting next spring, and other adjustments to fees. These funds will go to both state and local governments for transportation repairs and improvements. It is estimated that $1.5 billion per year in new revenue will be generated for local governments (counties and cities).

The types of projects that SB 1 funds can go towards include, but are not limited to:

  • road maintenance and rehabilitation
  • safety projects
  • railroad grade separations
  • complete street components, including active transportation, bike/pedestrian, transit facilities, drainage, and storm water capture projects
  • traffic control devices
  • match for state/federal funds for eligible projects

It was stressed that the Act intends that SB 1 funding “shall be prioritized for expenditure on basic road maintenance and road rehabilitation projects, and on critical safety projects.” So fix-it first, improve-it second.

For local entities to receive SB 1 funds, a list of expected projects must be submitted annually to the California Transportation Commission. October 16th is the due date for 2017-18 expenditures. The list must be pursuant to an adopted budget or amendment to a budget, approved at a public meeting, and it needs to include four components:

  • Project description
  • The location of each proposed project
  • Schedule for completion
  • Estimated useful life of improvement

The State’s SB 1 website provides special sections on funding, projects, accountability, and how the funds will go to local streets and roads.

For more information, please contact Kiana Valentine of CSAC and Derek Dolfie of the League of California Cities.