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Act No. 12 (H.510).

An act relating to the State’s transportation program and miscellaneous changes to the State’s transportation laws

This act adopts the Governor’s proposed transportation program with various amendments to authorized spending by source, by program, and on specific projects or activities.  This act also:

Rail

·         cancels seven rail projects that were approved in prior transportation programs

·         directs the Agency of Transportation (Agency) to work with Amtrak and other states to implement fares that maximize revenues for Vermont, with the goal of reducing Vermont’s subsidy to Amtrak

Bond Issuance

·         authorizes the Treasurer to issue up to $11.7 million in transportation infrastructure bonds and the expenditure of $10.4 million in bond proceeds on projects in the fiscal year 2014 Program Development program

Transportation Alternatives

·         amends provisions related to the Transportation Enhancement Program, which was eliminated in the federal MAP-21 reauthorization bill and replaced with the Transportation Alternatives Program

Transfer to Central Garage

·         transfers $1.12 million from the Transportation Fund to the Central Garage Fund

Changes to State Highway System

·         creates an exception to the general requirement that any addition to or deletion from the State Highway System requires the approval of the General Assembly

·         grants approval to the Agency to accept an addition to the State Highway System of a segment of town highway in Clarendon leading to the main entrance of the Rutland–Southern Vermont Regional Airport

Transportation Board’s Small Claims Jurisdiction

·         enlarges the Transportation Board’s small claims jurisdiction by increasing the jurisdictional threshold from $2,000.00 to $5,000.00

Charging Rent for Lease or License of Right-of-Way

·         extends a provision of law that requires the Agency ordinarily to charge a utility fair market value rent for leases or licenses of various types of transportation property to the situation of a utility that reaches an agreement with the Agency to lease or license the right-of-way of a limited access facility

Agency’s Condemnation Authority and Rulemaking Authority

·         with regard to the Agency’s authority to take private property through expedited proceedings for emergency repairs to existing bridges or culverts, extends this authority to include emergency repairs to existing highways and state-owned railroads

·         deletes a reference to the Secretary of Transportation’s authority to adopt rules regarding junkyard operation

Request for Public Meeting Regarding Planned Closure of a State Highway

·         provides a definition of “planned closure of a state highway” and specifies that after the Agency gives affected municipalities notice of the planned closure of a State highway, the Agency will be required to convene a regional public meeting only if one is requested

Gas and Diesel Tax and Assessment

·         increases the tax on diesel by two cents per gallon (cpg) effective on July 1, 2013, and by an additional 1 cpg effective on July 1, 2014

·         effective on May 1, 2013, imposes a new two percent motor fuel assessment on the tax‑adjusted retail price of gasoline.  The new assessment is subject to a 6.7 cpg floor and 9.0 cpg ceiling.  Also on May 1, 2013, this act reduces the existing cpg tax by 0.8 cents, from 19.0 cpg to 18.2 cpg.  Effective on July 1, 2014, this act increases the motor fuel assessment from a two percent to a four percent assessment on the tax‑adjusted retail price of gasoline.  The four percent assessment is subject to a 13.4 cpg floor and an 18.0 cpg ceiling.  Also starting on July 1, 2014, this act reduces the cpg tax by another 6.1 cents, from 18.2 cpg to 12.1 cpg

·         fixes the transfer of gasoline tax proceeds to the DUI Enforcement Special Fund at 0.38 cpg of the revenues raised by the motor fuel tax on gasoline

Transfer of Position

·         transfers a position and the funds associated with it from the Department of Taxes to the Department of Motor Vehicles

Appropriations from the Transportation Fund to the Department of Public Safety  

·         reduces the amount of funds authorized to be appropriated from the Transportation Fund to the Department of Public Safety in fiscal year 2015 by $2.5 million, from $25.25 million to $22.75 million, and in fiscal year 2016 by an additional $2.5 million, from $22.75 million to $20.25 million

Studies Related to Alternative Fuel Vehicles

·         requires the Commissioner of Public Service and the Commissioner of Taxes in consultation with others to study the most appropriate mechanisms to charge operators of plug-in hybrid and all-electric vehicles for their use of transportation infrastructure

·         requires the Department of Motor Vehicles in consultation with others to study the most appropriate mechanisms to charge operators of propane and natural gas‑powered vehicles for their use of transportation infrastructure

Study Committee on Aid to Municipalities for Town Highways Serving State Facilities

·         establishes a study committee to review alternative mechanisms to assist municipalities in maintaining class 3 and class 4 town highways that serve as the primary access roads to State parks and other State facilities used by the public

Biobus Pilot Program

·         creates a biobus pilot program that authorizes up to three persons to obtain approval from the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles, subject to certain conditions, to operate lawfully in Vermont a Type II school bus equipped with an auxiliary fuel tank which enables the bus to run on biodiesel, waste vegetable oil, or straight vegetable oil

This act incorporates by reference the Governor’s proposed budget with various amendments, and does not itself include a summary of spending by program. Below is a table summarizing the fiscal year 2014 budget as enacted.

FY 2014 Transportation Program

Administration-finance-planning

 

Central Admin & Finance

12,170,830

Policy & Planning

10,758,838

Transportation Board

200,000

Department of Motor Vehicles

25,120,967

Subtotal

48,250,635

Facilities

 

Rest Areas

1,445,753

AOT Buildings

2,873,000

Subtotal

4,318,753

Alternate modes

 

Public Transit

28,570,228

Aviation

11,971,791

Pedestrian & Bike Facilities

8,912,855

Park & Ride

4,101,028

Multi-Modal Facilities

1,533,172

Rail infrastructure

27,279,837

Amtrak

7,650,000

Subtotal

90,018,911

State Highway Infrastructure

 

Maintenance

88,696,670

Paving

108,246,363

Roadway

53,089,990

State bridges

54,633,655

Interstate bridges

61,521,660

Traffic operations

11,507,177

PD Admin & Tech Services

15,545,713

Subtotal

393,241,228

Town programs

 

TH Aid

25,982,744

Town bridges

16,566,597

TH Class 2

7,248,750

TH Structures

6,333,500

TH Class 1 supplemental grants

128,750

Enhancements

4,709,023

TH State aid nonfederal disasters

1,150,000

TH State aid federal disasters

3,600,000

FEMA grant program

29,235,250

TH VT Local Roads

400,000

Municipal mitigation grants

1,551,000

Subtotal

96,905,614

 Total All Programs

632,735,141

Central Garage - Internal Service Funds

20,319,956

Total Including Internal Service Funds

653,055,097

Multiple effective dates, beginning April 29, 2013

Also see:  Public service; Act No. 89 (H.520); An act relating to reducing energy costs and greenhouse emissions