BILL ANALYSIS SENATE TRANSPORTATION & HOUSING COMMITTEE BILL NO: AB 153 SENATOR ALAN LOWENTHAL, CHAIRMAN AUTHOR: ma VERSION: 6/21/10 Analysis by: Carrie Cornwell FISCAL: yes Hearing date: June 29, 2010 SUBJECT: Land use planning DESCRIPTION: This bill authorizes regions by a vote of the people to impose a mitigation fee of up to $4 on vehicle registrations to pay for regional land use planning activities. This bill also makes changes to the membership and duties of the Office of Planning and Research's Planning Advisory and Assistance Council. ANALYSIS: Fees on vehicle registrations to fund blueprint planning Existing law establishes a basic vehicle registration fee of $34, plus a $22 surcharge for additional personnel for the California Highway Patrol, and authorizes local agencies to impose separate vehicle registration fee surcharges in their respective jurisdictions for a variety of special programs, including: $1 for service authorities for freeway emergencies; $1 for deterring and prosecuting vehicle theft; up to $7 for air quality programs; $1 for removing abandoned vehicles; and $1 for fingerprint identification programs. Existing law permits local agencies to form joint powers agencies (JPAs). Cities and counties in regions have exercised this authority to form JPAs called councils of government (COGs) to implement regional planning activities required under state AB 153 (MA) Page 2 law, including regional housing needs assessments and regional transportation plans. COGs generally serve as federally recognized metropolitan planning organizations (MPOs) for transportation planning purposes, although there are exceptions. For example, in the nine-county San Francisco Bay region, the Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG) is the COG that prepares the regional housing needs assessment, but the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) is the region's MPO. SB 375 (Steinberg), Chapter 728, Statutes of 2008, required the Air Resources Board (ARB), by September 30, 2010, to provide each region that has a metropolitan planning organization (MPO) with a greenhouse gas emission reduction target for the automobile and light truck sector for 2020 and 2035, respectively. Each MPO, in turn, is required to include within its regional transportation plan (RTP) a sustainable communities strategy (SCS) designed to achieve the ARB targets for greenhouse gas emission reduction. If the SCS does not achieve the reduction target, the MPO must prepare an alternative planning strategy. This bill : 1.Allows, subject to approval by the voters, an MPO, a COG, or a county transportation commission and a subregional COG jointly preparing an SCS to levy a mitigation fee of up to $4 on vehicles registered in its jurisdiction to fund the implementation of an SCS or a regional blueprint plan to identify land use strategies to reduce the use of motor vehicles and thereby reduce emissions into the environment. The regional entity shall adopt a measure implementing and imposing the fee in every county within its jurisdiction, except that: i) In the San Francisco Bay Area, both MTC and ABAG shall have to adopt jointly a measure and agree how to divide the revenue received; and ii) In the jurisdiction of the Southern California Association of Governments, both a county transportation commission and a subregional COG shall have to adopt a resolution and agree how to divide the revenue received. 2.Requires that any regional entity's measure authorizing a fee must contain specified finding of fact, including that a clear AB 153 (MA) Page 3 nexus exists between the fee payer's activities and the alleged adverse effects addressed by the fee. 3.Requires that each county within the jurisdiction of the regional entity must submit the measure to the voters of that county. To pass, the measure must receive a majority vote of the aggregate of all voters in all counties within the region. The regional entity shall pay the costs of the election either from the proceeds of the fee imposed or, if the vote fails, from specified sales tax funds dedicated to local transportation development. 4.States that if the mitigation fee a region imposes exceeds $2, then all amounts above $2 shall be used to provide grants to counties, cities, and congestion management agencies for planning and projects related to implementation of an SCS or a regional blueprint plan. The bill ensures that less populated areas within the region will receive grants based on a "return-to-source" formula. 5.Allows the regional entity to divide the revenues it receives from the fee with the local air district, pursuant to an agreement between the two, so that the air district can assist local and regional governments in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. 6.Directs DMV to collect any authorized mitigation fee and transmit the revenue generated within a region to the entity that imposed it. From revenues generated, DMV may deduct its collection costs up to five percent of the amount collected in the first year the fee is in place, three percent in year two, and one percent each year thereafter. The bill does, however, direct the first regional entity to impose a fee to contract with DMV to pay for initial set up and programming costs there, which DMV may deduct from fee revenue. Subsequent regional entities to impose the fee would pay a pro-rata share of these original set up and programming costs. Planning Advisory and Assistance Council (PAAC) Existing law establishes the Office of Planning and Research (OPR) within the governor's office as the state's comprehensive planning agency, responsible for helping local and regional officials with land use planning. State law charges OPR with coordinating state agencies' planning activities, including directing OPR to prepare every four years a State Environmental AB 153 (MA) Page 4 Goals and Policies Report, a 20- to 30-year look ahead at state growth and development. Existing law creates the Planning Advisory and Assistance Council (PAAC) to assist OPR in various land-use planning related activities, including development of the State Environmental Goals and Policies Report. OPR's Director appoints the PAAC members, which must include: Three city representatives, nominated by the League of California Cities Three county representatives, nominated by the California State Association of Counties One representative from each of the regional planning districts designated by OPR One representative of Indian tribes with reservations in California Existing law creates the Strategic Growth Council, consisting of: Director of OPR Secretary of the Natural Resources Agency Secretary of the Environmental Protection Agency Secretary of the Business, Transportation and Housing Agency Secretary of the California Health and Human Services Agency A public member, appointed by the Governor The Strategic Growth Council coordinates the activities and funding programs of its member state agencies to improve air and water quality, improve natural resources protection, increase the availability of affordable housing, improve transportation, meet the state's greenhouse gas emission goals, encourage sustainable land use planning, and revitalize urban and community centers. The council must recommend policies to the governor, state agencies, and the Legislature to encourage the development of sustainable communities and provide local governments and regional agencies with data to assist in planning sustainable communities. This bill : 1.Changes the PAAC's membership to be: AB 153 (MA) Page 5 Three city representatives, nominated by the League of California Cities Three county representatives, nominated by the California State Association of Counties Seven representatives of specified regional planning organizations One member of the State Air Resources Board One member of the California Transportation Commission One member of the California Energy Commission One member appointed by the Speaker of the Assembly One member appointed by the Senate Rules Committee One representative of Indian tribes with reservations in California 1.Assigns the PAAC five new duties, as follows: i) Work with the Strategic Growth Council to facilitate the implementation of regional blueprint projects. ii) Facilitate coordination between regional blueprint plans and state growth and infrastructure funding plans by developing recommendations to specified state agencies. iii) Receive reports, including the state's five-year infrastructure plan. iv) Report to the Legislature on how state agencies implement the state's planning priorities. v) Report to the Legislature on regional performance measures that evaluate each region based on the PAAC's criteria for improving the regions' employment, environmental protection, education, housing, and mobility. COMMENTS: 1.Purpose . The author and sponsor note that SB 375 requires that each MPO develop an SCS reflecting preferred land uses as part of its regional transportation plan. The SCS will build on regional blueprints already being prepared in these regions. Proponents note that the state has provided few resources to implement SB 375 and its required sustainable communities strategies. Regional and local governments need resources for strategic planning and opportunities for coordination with state agencies. The author introduced this bill to provide those resources and the opportunity for greater coordination. Specifically, this bill will allow for the imposition of an up-to-$4 mitigation fee on the registration of all vehicles within a region to fund development and implementation of sustainable communities strategies or regional blueprints. AB 153 (MA) Page 6 This bill will allow the Planning and Advisory and Assistance Council to coordinate state investments with these regional plans. 2.A vote of the people ? The proponents of the bill indicate that the vote required to impose this fee in a region responds to Governor Schwarzenegger's several veto messages on bills imposing surcharges on vehicle registrations, including last year's SB 406 (DeSaulnier), a very similar measure. In many of these veto messages the governor indicates that he does not support imposing such fees absent a vote of the people. He has, however, also signed bills that impose vehicle registration fees without a vote of the people, including two imposing a four-dollar surcharge in San Mateo County to mitigate storm water run off and AB 118 (N??ez), Chapter 750, Statutes of 2007, to help attain the state's climate change policies. The expense of an election seems out of proportion to a fee that would be just a few dollars per car. In addition, an election is not legally necessary, as evidenced by other locally-imposed vehicle registration surcharges, such as those for vehicle theft deterrence programs, air quality programs, and abatement of abandoned vehicles. 3.Round numbers, please . DMV reports that it is difficult to impose and collect fees that are not round dollar amounts. This bill allows the imposition of a mitigation fee of up to $4 , which means that a region could impose a fee of $1.67 or any other amount, and in fact, all of the fees could vary, further complicating DMV's collection responsibilities for the many jurisdictions that could impose a fee under this bill. The author or committee, therefore, may wish to amend the bill to allow for the imposition of a fee only in round dollar amounts. 4.Re-refer to Rules Committee . The committee has previously heard two very similar bills as noted below, both of which were first heard in the Senate Local Government Committee to hear the provisions of the bill related to the Planning Advisory and Assistance Council. It may be appropriate for this bill to be heard in that committee, too. Therefore, any motion to pass this bill should also include "re-refer to the Rules Committee", so that Rules Committee may decide if the bill should also be heard in the Local Government Committee. AB 153 (MA) Page 7 RELATED LEGISLATION SB 406 (DeSaulnier) would have authorized regions, without a vote of the people, to impose a surcharge on vehicle registrations to pay for regional land use planning activities and would have made changes to the membership and duties of the Office of Planning and Research's Planning Advisory and Assistance Council. Vetoed. SB 1445 (DeSaulnier) increases by $1 the fee to register a vehicle in this state to pay for regional land use planning activities. This bill also makes changes to the membership and duties of the Office of Planning and Research's Planning Advisory and Assistance Council. Set for hearing in Assembly Local Government Committee on June 28, 2010. Assembly Votes are not relevant. POSITIONS: (Communicated to the Committee before noon on Wednesday, June 23, 2010) SUPPORT: Association of Bay Area Governments (sponsor) - need letter OPPOSED: None received.