Tuesday, August 30, 2011

BREAKING: Steinberg Bill Would Allow Local Governments to Levy Gas Taxes, License Fees

Back in the spring, Senate President Darrell Steinberg made waves by pushing SB 673, a bill that would have given cities, counties, and special districts expanded authority to impose a variety of new taxes. While the bill was largely a maneuver meant to intimidate Republican legislators into backing Jerry Brown's plan for a ballot measure on tax extensions, we were almost tempted to support it, insofar as it would've strengthened the hand of local government and undercut the rationale for new taxes from Sacramento. Well, the Sacramento Bee is reporting that Steinberg is up to similar tricks: he's hoping to pass a new bill, SB 791, that would allow transit districts to place their own fuel surcharges on local ballots. These districts would also be permitted to impose new license fees on electric cars. The revenues would go to fund local "congestion reduction" projects.

The bill is now in the Assembly, and would have to go back to the Senate for approval before it reached Jerry Brown's desk.


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