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SB-339 Vehicles: road usage charge pilot program.(2021-2022)

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Date Published: 02/08/2021 09:00 PM
SB339:v99#DOCUMENT


CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2021–2022 REGULAR SESSION

Senate Bill
No. 339


Introduced by Senator Wiener
(Coauthor: Senator Wieckowski)
(Coauthors: Assembly Members Chiu and Ting)

February 08, 2021


An act to amend Section 3093 of, and to add Section 3092.5 to, the Vehicle Code, relating to vehicles.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


SB 339, as introduced, Wiener. Vehicles: road usage charge pilot program.
Existing law requires the Chair of the California Transportation Commission to create a Road Usage Charge (RUC) Technical Advisory Committee in consultation with the Secretary of Transportation. Under existing law, the purpose of the technical advisory committee is to guide the development and evaluation of a pilot program to assess the potential for mileage-based revenue collection as an alternative to the gas tax system. Existing law requires the technical advisory committee to study RUC alternatives to the gas tax, gather public comment on issues and concerns related to the pilot program, and make recommendations to the Secretary of Transportation on the design of a pilot program, as specified. Existing law repeals these provisions on January 1, 2023.
This bill would extend the operation of these provisions until January 1, 2027. The bill would require the Transportation Agency, in consultation with the California Transportation Commission, to implement a pilot program to identify and evaluate issues related to the collection of revenue for a road charge program, as specified. The bill would require the RUC Technical Advisory Committee to make recommendations to the Transportation Agency on the design of the pilot program, including the group of vehicles to participate. The bill would require that if a group of vehicles other than state-owned vehicles is selected, that participation in the program be voluntary. The bill would require the Transportation Agency to convene a state agency work group, as specified, to implement the pilot program and to design a process for collecting road charge revenue from vehicles. The bill would require the pilot program to be net revenue neutral, as specified. The bill would require that participants in the program be charged a mileage-based fee and receive a credit or a refund for gasoline taxes or electric vehicle fees, as specified. The bill would require that the pilot program not affect funding levels for a program or purpose supported by state gasoline tax and electric vehicle fee revenues. The bill would require the Transportation Agency to submit a report to the Legislature, as specified.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: NO  

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


SECTION 1.

 The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:
(a) In 2014, the Legislature passed Senate Bill 1077 (Chapter 835 of the Statutes of 2014), which created a Road Usage Charge Technical Advisory Committee to guide the development and evaluation of a pilot program to assess the potential for a mileage-based financing mechanism for California’s roads and highways as an alternative to the gas tax system.
(b) In 2017, California completed the pilot program, which enrolled more than 5,000 vehicles that reported in excess of 37,000,000 miles over a nine-month period.
(c) The pilot program confirmed the viability of many aspects of a mileage-based financing mechanism but did not test the actual collection of revenue. The collection of revenue was simulated in the pilot program through mock invoices and payments.
(d) The testing of revenue collection was identified as a next step in the Transportation Agency’s 2017 Final Report on the pilot program. Taking this next step would allow California to evaluate revenue flows and allow for the identification of challenges, efficiencies, and synergies for future road charge implementation.
(e) The Final Report also concluded that, depending on how a road charge program is designed, there could be a number of state agencies and departments involved in the revenue collection process.
(f) California’s progress toward developing and implementing a mileage-based financing mechanism has been heightened with the issuance of Executive Order No. N-79-20, in September 2020, which requires a complete transition to a fully zero-emission new vehicle state auto market by 2035.

SEC. 2.

 Section 3092.5 is added to the Vehicle Code, to read:

3092.5.
 (a) Commencing on or after January 1, 2023, the Transportation Agency, in consultation with the California Transportation Commission, shall implement a pilot program to identify and evaluate issues related to the collection of revenue for a road charge program.
(b) The RUC Technical Advisory Committee shall make recommendations to the Transportation Agency on the design of the pilot program to test revenue collection, including the group of vehicles to participate in the pilot.
(1) In deciding which group of vehicles to recommend for the pilot, the Technical Advisory Committee shall consider input from industry experts and relevant stakeholders.
(2) If a vehicle group other than state-owned vehicles is selected, participation in the pilot shall be voluntary.
(c) The Transportation Agency, in consultation with the California Transportation Commission, shall convene a state agency work group to implement the pilot program, which may include the Department of Transportation, the Department of Motor Vehicles, the Controller’s office, the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration, and other state agencies, to design a process for collecting road charge revenue from vehicles.
(d) The pilot program shall be designed to be net revenue neutral such that the total revenues collected through the mileage-based financing mechanism do not exceed the total of the following:
(1) The estimated state gasoline taxes and electric vehicle fees paid by pilot program participants to operate a vehicle during the pilot.
(2) State agency costs to administer the pilot program.
(e) Participants in the pilot program shall be charged a mileage-based fee and receive a credit or a refund for the estimated state gasoline taxes and electric vehicle fees paid to operate a vehicle during the pilot. The credit or refund for electric vehicle fees, which are paid annually, shall be prorated.
(f) The pilot program shall not affect funding levels for each program or purpose supported by state gasoline tax and electric vehicle fee revenues.
(g) Paragraphs (2) and (3) of subdivision (b) and subdivision (c) of Section 3091 shall apply to the pilot program.
(h) The Transportation Agency, in consultation with the California Transportation Commission and the RUC Technical Advisory Committee, shall prepare and submit a report of its findings based on the results of the pilot program to the appropriate policy and fiscal committees of the Legislature. The report shall include, but not be limited to, a discussion of costs and implementation issues. The report to besubmitted pursuant to this subdivision shall be submitted in compliance with Section 9795 of the Government Code.
(i) The RUC Technical Advisory Committee may make recommendations on the criteria to be used to evaluate the pilot program.

SEC. 3.

 Section 3093 of the Vehicle Code is amended to read:

3093.
 This chapter shall remain in effect only until January 1, 2023, 2027, and as of that date is repealed, unless a later enacted statute, that is enacted before January 1, 2023, 2027, deletes or extends that date.