Pacific Sun | Peter Seidman | posted: 2/13/2015
Most Marin cities and the county face restrictions on the amount of federal gas tax money they can spend. The cause: Rejecting the Plan Bay Area concept of priority development areas.
When motorists fill their gas tanks in Marin, they pay 18.4 cents per gallon in federal gas tax for the regular formulation of gas. The state’s ethanol concoction comes with a lower tax, but whichever rate gets figured into a gas-tax-return equation, when the feds send the gas tax back to Marin, it now comes with restrictions that previously didn’t exist. And those restrictions constrain the way Marin can spend money on critical road and transportation maintenance and improvement projects.
The road to the current situation started when AB 32 became law in 2006. It mandates a reduction of greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2020. A separate executive order called for reducing emissions by 80 percent below 1990 levels by 2050.
A central vision of how AB 32 would work included a scenario in which counties, cities and towns would, among other goals, promote efficient energy use, encourage workforce housing and push for improved public transit.