BIA Sounds the Alarm On Fee Policy
A consensus of the Contra Costa Transportation Authority publicly agreed with BIA|Bay Area’s request to strip a mysterious proposed fee expansion policy from the draft 2017 Countywide Transportation Plan or CTP. Presumably inserted by a staff person, the unsolicited directive would have substantially broadened the regional transportation mitigation fee to include operations and maintenance costs of the capital projects that the funds are collected to construct. BIA strongly believes such an act would violate state law and even if it were legal, adding to the unaffordability gap in the midst of a major housing crisis is bad public policy. After reading the draft CTP earlier this month, BIA East Bay representative Lisa Vorderbrueggen immediately contacted authority members and as a result, a policy that might have otherwise been been adopted with little or no daylight has been exposed. The proposal targeted the regional fees administered by the East Contra Costa Regional Fee and Finance Authority, Tri-Valley Transportation Commission and similar joint powers authorities in Lamorinda and West Contra Costa County. It would have also launched a study of a regional transit operations mitigation fee. Click here to view BIA’s letter to the authority dated July 19, 2017, that details the association’s legal and other objections. Click here for the meeting audio link. Click here for the agenda and staff report, agenda item No. 4.B.5. The CCTA is scheduled to adopt the final CTP in September or October. BIA will, of course, monitor the process to ensure that the fee expansion language is actually removed in the final document. Click here for more details and links to documents regarding the update to the Contra Costa Countywide Transportation Plan.