The Point: Without SB 1 funds, new projects, road maintenance and jobs in Riverside County will be in jeopardy

The Riverside County Transportation Commission voted January 25 by a 19-3 vote to oppose the repeal of Senate Bill 1 (SB 1), which will provide over $113 million annually to Riverside County for road maintenance, public transit, and local priority transportation projects. SB 1 also provides opportunities for Riverside County to compete for additional funds to reduce highway congestion, build infrastructure to support trade and commerce, and expand rail and bus transit. The Commission has previously supported numerous similar measures intended to restrict expenditure of transportation revenues to transportation purposes only. These new transportation funds are generated through increased taxes on motor fuels and vehicle fees, which took effect November 1, 2017.

The Commission also voted to support Proposition 69 (also known as Assembly Constitutional Amendment 5), which would provide constitutional protection for all new transportation revenues generated by SB 1. If Prop. 69 is approved by a majority of California voters in the June 5, 2018 Primary Election, the State Legislature and Governor would be prohibited from borrowing or diverting SB 1 revenues. The Commission has previously supported numerous similar measures intended to restrict expenditure of transportation revenues to transportation purposes only.

SB 1 funds have already been committed to Riverside County. Under the law, each city and the County of Riverside receives an annual sum of SB 1 funds to repair and maintain existing local roads; the projects receiving these funds are reviewed and approved in public meetings by city councils and the Board of Supervisors, and are disclosed at this state website. In general, local governments in Riverside County will see their budget for filling potholes and fixing local streets nearly double.

Annual Local Street & Road funding estimated for each city in Riverside County.

Western Riverside County
Coachella & Palo Verde Valleys

These maps show ten projects that have already received funding as well as projects that are nominated by RCTC for funding through the California Transportation Commission.

It is no secret that Riverside County roads are in need of repair and are heavily congested, adding time and cost burdens on Riverside County residents and businesses. According to RCTC’s 2016 Strategic Assessment, Riverside County faces a gap between transportation needs and available funding of approximately $12.6 billion through 2039. If SB 1 is repealed, the funding gap will widen to at least $15.8 billion in this same period. Further, Measure A, Riverside County’s voter-approved half-cent sales tax for transportation improvements, relies upon adequate state and federal funding to match Measure A funds. SB 1 represents a substantial amount of the state funds presumed necessary to fulfill Measure A’s commitments to Riverside County voters.

Organized efforts are underway to gather signatures to place an initiative on the November 6, 2018 General Election statewide ballot to repeal SB 1 and requires the Legislature to submit to the voters any increase in specified vehicle fees or gas or diesel taxes.

Several Commissioners expressed reservations about taxes and skepticism of state government. Commissioners also voiced the growing need for funds to make transportation improvements in local communities. Others said that voters should have a say in whether gas taxes should be raised.

For information about SB 1, click here.

Western County Projects with SB1 Funding
Eastern County Projects with SB1 Funding