So-Cal Members Raise A Tax Reform Concern

Posted by: Bill Higgins on Thursday, December 7, 2017
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Most of CALCOG's Southern California members penned a letter to Congressional leadership stating that the tax reform proposal poses a threat to transportation investments and regional economic health.  
 
The letter focuses on elements of the plan that eliminate advance refunding bonds and fail to renew alternative fuel benefits, asserting that the change would erode funding for transportation improvements and make projects more dependent on federal funding.  (We also note that this result would seem counter to President Trump's second infrastructure principle, which is to support self-help funding measures at the state and local level).

The  letter also notes that not extending tax credits for alternative fuels and related infrastructure weakens the long-term energy security of the nation and undermines California’s extensive work to push forward on emissions goals and reduce consumer reliance on gas and diesel.  

The Southern California Association of Governments also note that both the House and Senate versions of the tax plan threaten progress on any potential standalone infrastructure package because neither proposal includes a long-term fix for the structural revenue deficit of the Highway Trust Fund, which finances about one-fourth of the nation’s public highway and mass transit spending. “If the above provisions remain unchanged, passage of the tax legislation would deal Southern California’s infrastructure plans a serious blow, and could signal a major setback to transportation projects nationwide.” 

The letter is signed by the Southern California Association of Governments, Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority, San Diego Association of Governments, Ventura County Transportation Commission, Orange County Transportation Authority, Riverside County Transportation Commission, San Bernardino County Transportation Authority, Imperial County Transportation Commission and Metrolink.  (Metrolink is not a CALCOG member). 

Note that CALCOG has not taken a position on this issue, but notes that the policy identified in the Southern California letter are generally consistent with our advocacy principles.  

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