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August 09, 2007

Comments

Curt Pringle

Jubal-
Thanks for bringing this issue forward. But to characterize the vote Monday as "for or against" a tax is inappropriate.

There are many fees that users of government services pay, and this charge per container of cargo shipped into the LB and LA Ports is a fee. This determination is a legal one and has been made by state Legislative Counsel.

Further, the OCTA board wanted OC Tax to review this to insure that they would justify this as a fee, and in fact they have.

So the question should be: "will the board support a fee that will cover costs and impacts throughout the port distribution system?"

The ports have imposed similar fees in the past, however those revenues are used in those cities that impose the fee, i.e. Long Beach and Los Angeles. If this fee is imposed through state statute, then all counties in So Cal that are impacted by freight distribution, LA, OC, Riverside, and SB will get their share.

For example, when the railroads add rail lines and cargo that passes through our communities, should those necessary grade seperations be paid for by local communities or by the cause of the impact.

Well, not all of the 150 grade seperations along the Alameda Corridor East, which runs through all four counties and OC cities - Fullerton, Placentia, Anaheim and YL - can be funded by this small fee, but some can.

One grade seperation in Anaheim/Yorba Linda that is currently under construction at Imperial Hwy. will cost over $40 million. These dollars come from OC taxpayers and state transportation funds that are destined for OC.

When local transportation dollars are directed to this degree for port impacts, other local projects throughout the county are delayed or not funded at all.

I dont think it is wrong in some clear instances to ask users of government services to pay a portion of their impacts. And that is why I will be voting for the OCTA Executive Committee recommendation to support SB 974, if the author accepts some key amendments.

Curt Pringle

redperegrine

And the cost of the tax, er, fee, will eventually be passed on to consumers as a hidden tax, er, fee. Meanwhile who really knows how the State will divvy up the dough? Good thing we've got all that Measure M gravy to slurp up.

BTW, wasn't the big rationale for Measure M the fact that the State won't fund OC transportation projects? And here we go enabling the State to raise revenue while they stiff OC.

Miranda

A very reasonable response from Curt Pringle. I'm not convinced, but he should be respected for explaining his stand. I'm glad Jubal brought this up too, cuz it'll be fun to watch who sticks to their guns, and which directors were only going to vote for a tax/fee if no one was paying attention.

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