BOARD OF SUPERVISORS, COUNTY OF SAN MATEO, STATE OF CALIFORNIA
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RESOLUTION: 1) SUPPORTING THE FINDINGS OF THE COMPREHENSIVE STATEWIDE STUDY ENTITLED, “CALIFORNIA STATEWIDE LOCAL STREETS AND ROADS NEEDS ASSESSMENT” DATED FEBRUARY 2011; AND 2) AUTHORIZING THE PRESIDENT OF THE BOARD OF SUPERVISORS TO SEND A LETTER TO EACH STATE LEGISLATOR INVOLVED WITH TRANSPORTATION POLICIES AND BUDGET MAKING DECISIONS, URGING THE LEGISLATURE TO ENACT A COMPREHENSIVE FIX TO THE TRANSPORTATION TAX SWAP.
RESOLVED, by the Board of Supervisors of the County of San Mateo, State of California, that
WHEREAS, cities and counties own and operate over 82% of the roads in California, where every trip begins and ends, and the local system is critical for safety and mobility of the traveling public, farm to market needs, multimodal needs, and commerce; and
WHEREAS, the local street and road system provides two-fold opportunity for economic recovery during the worst fiscal crisis in California in decades. The maintenance and preservation of the local transportation network provides both public and private sector jobs and thus supports economic recovery in every corner of the State. Furthermore, well maintained infrastructure is critical for economic development by attracting businesses and providing for the safe and efficient movement of both people and goods; and
WHEREAS, while Federal and State governments regularly assess their transportation system needs, no such data existed for the local component of the State’s transportation network until the California Statewide Local Streets and Roads Needs Assessment Study dated October 20, 2009 provided a critical analysis and information on the local transportation network’s condition and funding needs; and
WHEREAS, on January 26, 2010 this Board adopted Resolution No. 070594, supporting the 2009 study and authorizing that the Resolution and a letter declaring opposition to future cuts in vital transportation funding and support for stable funding for local streets and roads, be sent to the Governor and each State Legislator involved with transportation policies and budget making decisions; and
WHEREAS, an updated California Statewide Local Streets and Roads Needs Assessment Study (Study), dated February 2011, has been prepared and provides more current analysis and information on the State’s local transportation network’s condition and funding needs; and
WHEREAS, the Study surveyed all of California’s 58 counties and 480 cities in 2010, resulting in data that represents more than 97% of local street and road miles in the State; and
WHEREAS, the results show that California’s local streets and roads are on a path of significant decline. On a scale of zero (failed) to 100 (excellent), the statewide average pavement condition index (PCI) had declined from 68 (2009 study) to 66 in the Study. The State’s local streets and roads continue to be “at risk”; and
WHEREAS, if current funding remains the same, the statewide condition is projected to deteriorate to a PCI of 54 by 2020; and
WHEREAS, the unincorporated areas of the County of San Mateo currently have an average PCI of 69; and
WHEREAS, ongoing road maintenance is a significant public safety concern. Maintaining the paved road network (pothole filling, sealing, overlays, etc.), traffic signals, signs, and street lights have a direct correlation to improving public safety thus reducing traffic accidents, injuries and deaths; and
WHEREAS, to spend the taxpayer’s money cost-effectively, preserving and maintaining the local system in good condition, or at a level of best management practices, is less costly in the long term; and
WHEREAS, in order to bring the local system into a cost-effective condition, thereby preserving the public’s $271 Billion pavement investment and stopping further costly deterioration, approximately $7.9 Billion annually ($5.63 Billion for pavements and $2.26 Billion for essential roadway components and bridges) in new money going directly to cities and counties over a period of ten years is needed to stop the further decline and deterioration of our streets and roads; and
WHEREAS, the transportation tax swap that was approved by a simple majority vote of the Legislature in March 2010 resulted in the elimination of the sales tax on gasoline (Proposition 42 funds) and replacement of the lost funds with an increase in the gasoline excise tax (HUTA); and
WHEREAS, in November 2010, State voters approved Proposition 26. Proposition 26 requires approval of new taxes by a two-thirds supermajority vote in the California State Legislature to pass new fees, levies, charges and taxes, retroactive to January 1, 2010. As a result, the increase in HUTA funds was nullified because it was a tax increase approved by a simple majority, but the elimination of Prop 42 funds remained in effect because it was a reduction in taxes.
WHEREAS, the Governor’s budget proposes a plan advocated by the transportation community and local government to reenact the March 2010 transportation tax swap by having the Legislature approve the tax swap with a two-thirds majority vote; and
WHEREAS, HUTA and Prop 42 funds have been the primary sources of revenue for the County’s Road Fund and are used to maintain and rehabilitate the County’s road system; and
WHEREAS, this Board finds that it is in the best interest of the County to support the Study and the findings contained in the Study, because implementation of the findings is likely to enhance the public safety of our communities, maintain roads in a cost effective manner, and supports the need for adequate and secure funding for roads as they represent a significant investment and are an integral part of the transportation system for the public; and
WHEREAS, this Board finds that it is in the best interest of the County to support a comprehensive fix to the transportation tax swap to prevent the loss of funding essential to the survival of state, regional, and local transportation programs.
NOW THEREFORE, IT IS HEREBY DETERMINED AND ORDERED as follows:
This Board, in the best interest of the County, supports the findings of the California Statewide Local Streets and Roads Needs Assessment, dated February 2011.
This Board authorizes the President of the Board of Supervisors to send a letter to the State Legislators involved with transportation policies and budget making decisions, supporting a comprehensive fix to the transportation tax swap to prevent the loss of funding essential to local transportation programs.
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