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  




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          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  




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            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  




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          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:





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                 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.  




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            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.





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          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.