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Vehicle fees would go to road repairs
July 08, 2010, 02:48 AM By Bill Silverfarb Daily Journal staff

With the state facing a $20 billion deficit and spending less on transportation, the City/County Association of Governments will decide tonight whether to put a measure on the November ballot to impose a $10 fee for vehicles registered in the county.

If approved, the vehicle registration fee would generate $6.7 million annually to go toward countywide transportation programs and fixing local roads.

C/CAG is a county agency charged with addressing transportation and air quality issues, among others, and is comprised of a 19-member board of local elected officials.

The fee can be imposed through a majority vote ballot measure under legislation authored by state Sen. Loni Hancock, D-Oakland, that was signed into law late last year.

"Transportation funding is not very well set up,” said C/CAG Executive Director Richard Napier. "Cities are under huge pressure right now to provide services the state funded.”

Survey results from a poll indicate 66 percent of likely voters would support the fee, according to a C/CAG staff report.

About half the money raised, if the measure passes, will be doled out to cities based on population and road miles. Under the formula, the city of San Mateo would get about $375,000 annually for road fixes while Foster City would get about $106,000 annually.

The other half, about $3.2 million, would go toward funding transit operations including services for seniors and people with disabilities. About 5 percent of the money would go toward administrative cost.

Cities can use the money for pavement resurfacing, pothole repair, signage and striping, traffic signals and for funding local shuttles. The money can also be used for street sweeping and storm-inlet cleaning.

Caltrain and SamTrans will get some of the money to provide services for people with disabilities.

If the C/CAG board approves the resolution for a ballot measure it will also vote to spend $950,000 to pay for the Nov. 2 election.

"Much of the money will go toward directly fixing streets and roads, which are in poor shape,” Napier said. "The fee will have a direct benefit to those paying the fee.”

The City/County Association of Governments meets 6:30 p.m., tonight, San Mateo County Transit District Office, 1250 San Carlos Ave., second floor, San Carlos.

Bill Silverfarb can be reached by e-mail: silverfarb@smdailyjournal.com or by phone: (650) 344-5200 ext. 106.

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