Amended in Assembly April 13, 2015

Amended in Assembly March 19, 2015

California Legislature—2015–16 Regular Session

Assembly BillNo. 338


Introduced by Assembly Member Roger Hernández

February 13, 2015


An act to add Section 130350.7begin delete to,end deletebegin insert toend insert the Public Utilities Code, relating to transportation.

LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL’S DIGEST

AB 338, as amended, Roger Hernández. Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority: transactions and use tax.

Existing law authorizes the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) to impose, in addition to any other tax that it is authorized to impose, a transactions and use tax at a rate of 0.5% for the funding of specified transportation-related projects and programs, subject to various requirements, including the adoption of an expenditure plan and voter approval. Existing law authorizes the MTA to seek voter approval to extend the transactions and use tax pursuant to an amended ordinance, subject to various requirements, including adoption of an amended expenditure plan that, among other things, updates certain cost estimates and identifies expected completion dates for projects and programs under the previous expenditure plan, and also requires the amended expenditure plan to be included in an updated long range transportation plan, as specified.

This bill would authorize the MTA to impose an additional transportation transactions and use tax at a rate of 0.5%, for a period not to exceed 30 years, subject to various requirements, including the adoption of an expenditure plan and voter approval.

The Transactions and Use Tax Law limits to 2% the combined rate of all transactions and use taxes imposed in any county, with certain exceptions.

This bill would exempt the transactions and use tax authorized by the bill from this limitation.

Vote: majority. Appropriation: no. Fiscal committee: yes. State-mandated local program: no.

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

P2    1

SECTION 1.  

The Legislature finds and declares all of the
2following:

3(a) Various economic studies have shown that the biggest burden
4on family incomes is the cost of housing and transportation. These
5two variables greatly affect the quality of life for Californians.

6(b) Los Angeles County voters have recognized the importance
7of investing in a transportation network that is responsive to the
8needs of commuters and transit users and that facilitates the
9movement of goods in the region. Los Angeles County has three
10existing voter-approved sales tax measures for transportation
11projects administered by Los Angeles County Metropolitan
12Transportation Authority (MTA).

13(c) In 1980, voters in Los Angeles County approved Proposition
14A, a sales tax of one-half of 1 percent on most retail sales in Los
15Angeles County. The MTA returns 25 percent of Proposition A
16proceeds to the cities in Los Angeles County for transportation
17purposes. Thirty-five percent of Proposition A proceeds is required
18to be used for rail development while the remaining 40 percent is
19for discretionary purposes. Almost all of the discretionary portion
20is used to fund bus service provided by the MTA and 16 other
21municipal bus operators within Los Angeles County. The collection
22of the sales tax is ongoing.

23(d) In 1990, voters in Los Angeles County approved Proposition
24C, an additional sales tax of one-half of 1 percent on retail sales
25in Los Angeles County. The MTA returns 20 percent of Proposition
26C proceeds to the cities in Los Angeles County for transportation
27purposes. Forty percent of the Proposition C proceeds is required
28to be used for construction and operation of the bus transit and rail
P3    1system, 5 percent to expand rail and bus security, 10 percent for
2commuterbegin delete rail,end deletebegin insert railend insert and construction of transit centers, park and
3ride lots, and freeway bus stops, and 25 percent for transit-related
4improvements to freeways and state highways. The collection of
5the sales tax is ongoing.

6(e) Most recently, voters in Los Angeles County approved
7Measure R in 2008. Measure R is an ordinance authorizing an
8additional sales tax of one-half of 1 percent to fund traffic relief
9and rail expansion according to an expenditure plan contained in
10the ordinance. Measure R became effective July 1, 2009, and will
11remain in effect for 30 years.

12(f) MTA has been entrusted with the responsibility and has the
13voters’ confidence that it will protect and use the sales tax funding
14responsibly and according to the rules approved by the voters.

15

SEC. 2.  

Section 130350.7 is added to the Public Utilities Code,
16to read:

17

130350.7.  

(a) The Los Angeles County Metropolitan
18Transportation Authority (MTA), in addition to any other tax it is
19authorized to impose or has imposed, may impose a transactions
20and use tax at the rate of 0.5 percent, for a period not to exceed 30
21years, that is applicable in the incorporated and unincorporated
22areas of the County of Los Angeles.

23(b) The ordinance imposing the tax shall contain all of the
24following:

25(1) An expenditure plan that lists the transportation projects and
26programs to be funded from net revenues from the tax. The
27expenditure plan shall appear in the ordinance as an exhibit. The
28expenditure plan shall include measures that ensure net revenues
29are shared equitably between regions of the county.

30(2) Provisions conforming to the Transactions and Use Tax Law
31(Part 1.6 (commencing with Section 7251) of Division 2 of the
32Revenue and Taxation Code), except as otherwise provided in
33subdivision (f).

34(3) A provision limiting the MTA’s costs of administering the
35ordinance and the net revenues from the tax to 1.5 percent of the
36total tax revenues.

37(4) A requirement that the net revenues from the tax, defined
38to mean the total tax revenues less any refunds, costs of
39administration by the State Board of Equalization, and the MTA’s
40administration costs, shall be used by the MTA to fund
P4    1transportation projects and programs identified in the expenditure
2plan.

3(5) A requirement that the MTA, during the period that the
4ordinance is operative, allocatebegin delete ____end deletebegin insert 20end insert percent of all net revenues
5derived from the tax for bus operations. These revenues shall be
6allocated to all eligible and included municipal transit operators
7in the County of Los Angeles and to the MTA, in accordance with
8Section 99285. However, the allocations to the MTA and eligible
9and included municipal operators shall be made solely from
10revenues derived from a tax imposed pursuant to this section, and
11not from local discretionary sources. Funds allocated by MTA to
12itself pursuant to this section shall be used for transit operations
13and shall not supplant funds from any other source allocated by
14MTA to itself for public transit operations. Funds allocated by
15MTA to the eligible and included municipal operators pursuant to
16this section shall be used for transit operations and shall not
17supplant any funds authorized by other provisions of law and
18allocated by MTA to the eligible and included municipal operators
19for public transit. In addition to this amount, the MTA shall allocate
20begin delete ____end deletebegin insert 5end insert percent of all net revenues derived from the tax for rail
21operations.

22(c) The MTA shall notify the Legislature prior to the adoption
23of amendments to the adopted expenditure plan.

24(d) The ordinance shall be adopted by the MTA board, which
25shall also adopt a resolution that submits the ordinance to the
26voters.

27(e) The ordinance shall become operative pursuant to Section
28130352 if approved by two-thirds of the voters voting on the
29measure, pursuant to subdivision (d) of Section 2 of Article XIII
30C of the California Constitution.

31(f) The MTA may incur bonded indebtedness payable from the
32net revenues of the tax pursuant to the bond issuance provisions
33of this chapter and any successor act.

34(g) The tax authorized by this section shall be imposed pursuant
35to the Transactions and Use Tax Law (Part 1.6 (commencing with
36Section 7251) of Division 2 of the Revenue and Taxation Code),
37notwithstanding the combined rate limitation in Section 7251.1 of
38the Revenue and Taxation Code.



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