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BILL AS INTRODUCED 2007-2008

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H.540

Introduced by Committee on Transportation

Date:

Subject:  Transportation; spending authorization; appropriations; taxation; purchase and use tax; low mileage vehicle surcharge; public transit; public and critical care transportation study committee; vehicle emissions labeling; biodiesel fuel rebate

Statement of purpose:  This bill proposes to:

(1)  Authorize spending and appropriate funds for the public transit program in the fiscal year 2008 state transportation plan.

(2)  Establish a public transportation–critical care transportation study committee.

(3)  Provide a reduction in the purchase and use tax for vehicles which achieve 30 or more miles per gallon.

(4)  Impose a surcharge of $150.00 on the purchase or use of a new vehicle of model year 2009 or later, as follows:  Vehicles registered at the pleasure car rate which get 20 miles per gallon or less in combined city and highway driving; and trucks weighing more than 6,000 pounds and up to 10,099 pounds which get 17 miles per gallon or less in combined city and highway driving.  The revenue derived from the surcharge shall be appropriated as follows:  The sum of $10,000.00 to the department of motor vehicles to upgrade the computer system; $20,000.00 to the department of motor vehicles for registration forms and implementing a vehicle emissions labeling program; and $50,000.00 to the agency of natural resources to develop the labeling score required in the labeling program, including the authorization for a new position to implement the program.

(5)  Establish a vehicle emissions labeling program and provide that no new motor vehicle with a model year of 2010, or later, shall be sold or leased in the state without a vehicle emissions label affixed to it.

(6)  Provide a two‑cent per‑gallon rebate for biodiesel fuel purchased.

AN ACT RELATING TO PUBLIC TRANSIT

It is hereby enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Vermont:

* * * Spending Authorization and Appropriations * * *

Sec. 1.  PUBLIC TRANSIT PROGRAM

(a)  Authorized spending in the public transit program of the fiscal year 2008 state transportation program is amended to read:

       FY08                             As Proposed    As Amended             Change

          Personal services                948,669           948,669                      0

          Operating expenses               77,517           177,517           100,000

          Grants                           16,225,259      17,225,259        1,000,000

          Other                                             0                      0                      0

          Total                              17,251,445      18,351,445        1,100,000

       Sources of funds

          State                                5,899,044        6,322,599           423,555

          Town fund                                     0                      0                      0

          Federal                          11,352,401      11,997,846           645,445

          Federal toll credits                        0             31,000             31,000

          Total                              17,251,445      18,351,445        1,100,000

(b)  These changes are made:

(1)  To add $323,555.00 in transportation funds, $31,000.00 in federal toll credits and $645,445.00 in federal funds for capital assistance – equipment replacement; and

(2)  To appropriate $100,000 in transportation funds to the public transit section of the operations division of the agency of transportation for a statewide program for marketing public transit services.  The public transit section shall consult with public transit providers in developing the marketing program.

Sec. 2.  APPROPRIATIONS – PUBLIC TRANSIT PROGRAM

The following amounts are appropriated for the fiscal year 2008 public transit program of the state transportation program:

          Personal services                948,669                       

          Operating expenses             177,517                       

          Grants                           17,225,259                       

            Total                           18,351,445

       Sources of funds                                                                               

          State                                6,322,599                       

          Federal                          11,997,846

          Toll credits                           31,000

            Total                           18,351,445                       

* * * Public and Critical Care Transportation Study Committee * * *

Sec. 3.  PUBLIC AND CRITICAL CARE TRANSPORTATION STUDY

             COMMITTEE

(a)  A critical care transportation legislative study committee is established, consisting of the secretary of transportation or designee; the agency of transportation’s public transit administrator or designee; the secretary of human services or the director of housing and transportation; the commissioner of disabilities, aging and independent living or designee; the director of the office of Vermont health access or designee; the chair of the house committee on transportation or designee; the chair of the house committee on appropriations or designee; the chair of the house human services committee or designee; the chair of the senate committee on transportation or designee; the chair of the senate committee on appropriations or designee; the chair of the senate health and welfare committee or designee; a representative of the Vermont area agencies on aging; a representative of the Vermont center for independent living; a representative of the Vermont association of adult day care services; a representative of the Vermont public transportation association to represent rural public transportation providers; a representative of the Vermont public transportation association to represent urban public transportation providers; a representative of the Vermont kidney foundation; and a representative of the American Cancer Society.  For the purposes of this section, critical care transportation is defined as transportation to and from dialysis and cancer treatment medical services for Vermonters not eligible for Medicaid transportation services.  The committee shall be co‑chaired by the secretary of human services, or the housing and transportation director, and the agency of transportation’s public transit administrator.  The committee is authorized to hold up to six meetings, at which point it is terminated.  Legislative members of the committee shall be entitled to per diem compensation and expense reimbursement as provided in 2 V.S.A. § 406(a).

(b)  The sum of $200,000.00 is appropriated from the general fund to the department of disabilities, aging, and independent living, on a one‑time basis, to provide supplemental funding to the elderly and disabled transportation program, exclusively for critical care transportation.  This appropriation is intended to supplement elderly and disabled transportation program funds for critical care transportation appropriated for fiscal year 2008, and agencies receiving such funding shall, at a minimum, maintain in fiscal year 2008 the funding amounts initially programmed by the regional elderly and disabled advisory committees in fiscal year 2007 for critical care transportation.

(c)  The commissioner of the department of disabilities, aging and independent living shall disburse the funds appropriated in subsection (b) of this section to agencies that have grant agreements with the agency of transportation for the provision of elderly and disabled transportation services after considering recommendations for disbursal from the critical care legislative study committee.  The committee shall make specific recommendations on the disbursal of these supplemental funds that, to the greatest extent practicable and within funding limitations of this appropriation, support Vermonters’ needs for critical care transportation services.

(d)  The committee shall review the current service delivery system for critical care transportation, and develop recommendations for program administration approaches that will insure critical care transportation program stability, and eliminate annual regional fluctuations of need, and make policy recommendations toward the establishment of prudent and predictable funding that is tied to clear policy objectives determined to be reasonable, sustainable, and affordable.  The committee shall consider such issues as program coordination among not‑for‑profit agencies and funding sources, sustainability of funding, ease of administration, compatibility with other programs, need for service, and other issues it deems relevant to determine its recommendations.

(e)  The agency of human services, agency of transportation, legislative council, and joint fiscal office shall provide administrative and staff support for the committee.

(f)  The committee shall deliver its report, including any recommendations for proposed legislation, to the house and senate committees on appropriations and transportation, to the house human services committee, and the senate health and welfare committee by December 1, 2007.  

* * * Purchase and Use Tax Reduction for Fuel Efficient Vehicles * * *

Sec. 4.  32 V.S.A. § 8902(12) is added to read:

Unless otherwise expressly provided, the words and phrases used in this chapter shall be construed to mean:

* * *

(12)  “Fuel economy rating” means, for purposes of 32 V.S.A § 8903(a) and (b), miles per gallon of fuel consumed when the vehicle use pattern is city driving only, and for purposes of  32 V.S.A. § 8903(h), miles per gallon of fuel consumed in combined city and highway driving, as determined by the Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.


Sec. 5.  32 V.S.A. § 8903(a) and (b) are amended to read:

(a)(1)  There is hereby imposed upon the purchase in Vermont of a motor vehicle by a resident a tax at the time of such purchase, payable as hereinafter provided.  The

(A)  Except as provided in subdivision (B) of this subsection, the amount of the tax shall be six percent of the taxable cost of a:

pleasure car as defined in 23 V.S.A. § 4;

motorcycle as defined in 23 V.S.A. § 4;

motor home as defined in subdivision 8902(11) of this title; or

vehicle weighing up to 10,099 pounds, registered pursuant to 23 V.S.A. § 367, other than a farm truck.

(B)  For any above‑defined motor vehicle of a model year 2007 or later which has a fuel economy rating of 30 miles per gallon or more in city driving, the amount of the tax shall be five percent of the vehicle’s taxable cost.

* * *

(b)(1) There (A)  Except as provided in subdivision (B) of this subdivision (1), there is hereby imposed upon the use within this state a tax of six percent of the taxable cost of a:

pleasure car as defined in 23 V.S.A. § 4;

motorcycle as defined in 23 V.S.A. § 4;

motor home as defined in subdivision 8902(11) of this title; or

vehicle weighing up to 10,099 pounds, registered pursuant to 23 V.S.A. § 367, other than a farm truck.

(B)  For any above‑defined motor vehicle of a model year 2007 or later which has a fuel economy rating of 30 gallons or more in city driving, the amount of the tax on its use in this state shall be five percent of the vehicle’s taxable cost.

* * * Purchase and Use Tax; Surcharge for Low Mileage Vehicles * * *

Sec. 6.  32 V.S.A. § 8903(h) is added to read:

(h)  There is imposed a surcharge of $150.00 on the purchase or use, subject to subsection (a) or (b) of this section, of new vehicles of model year 2009 or later, as follows:

(1)  Vehicles registered at the pleasure car rate with a fuel economy rating of 20 miles per gallon or less in combined city and highway driving.

(2)  Trucks weighing more than 6000 pounds and up to 10,099 pounds with a fuel economy rating of 17 miles per gallon or fewer in combined city and highway driving.

Sec. 7.  TRANSITION FUNDING

The following amounts are appropriated in fiscal year 2008 from the transportation fund for purposes of implementing this act:

(1)  The sum of $10,000.00 to the department of motor vehicles to upgrade the computer system.

(2)  The sum of $20,000.00 to the department of motor vehicles for registration forms and the vehicle emissions labeling program.

(3)  The sum of $50,000.00 to the agency of natural resources to develop the labeling score required in the labeling program.  The agency of natural resources is authorized to fill a position of environmental analyst III to implement the requirements of the vehicle emissions labeling program.

* * * Labeling Emissions for New Vehicles * * *

Sec. 8.  10 V.S.A. § 579 is added to read:

§ 579.  VEHICLE EMISSIONS LABELING PROGRAM FOR NEW

            MOTOR  VEHICLES

(a)  Not later than September 1, 2009, the commissioner of environmental conservation, in consultation with the commissioner of motor vehicles, shall establish a vehicle emissions labeling program for new motor vehicles sold or leased in the state with a model year of 2010 or later.

(b)  Vehicle emissions labels under this program shall include the vehicle’s emissions gas score, comparing the vehicle’s gas emissions with the gas emissions from all vehicle models of the same model year for which a label is required, presented in both a continuous bar format and a single qualitative score or in an alternative graphical representation that the commissioner of environmental conservation determines will more effectively convey the information to consumers.  The label shall also include the average vehicle emissions gas score for vehicles within the same vehicle class as the vehicle to which the label is affixed and any other relevant information, as determined by the commissioner of environmental conservation.  The commissioner of environmental conservation is encouraged to consult with the counterparts in California and Connecticut who have advanced a comparable program in those states, and is additionally encouraged to develop a model whereby the automobile manufacturers install the labels.

(c)  The vehicle emissions gas label shall be affixed to the vehicle in a clearly visible location, as determined by the commissioner of environmental conservation and the commissioner of motor vehicles.

(d)  No new motor vehicle with a model year of 2010, or later, shall be sold or leased in the state without a vehicle emissions gas label that meets the requirements of this section affixed to it.

Sec. 9.  23 V.S.A. § 3002(11) and (12) are added to read:

(11)  “Biodiesel blend” means a blend of biodiesel fuel and petroleum diesel that contains five percent of biodiesel fuel by volume.

(12)  “Biodiesel fuel” means a renewable, biodegradable, mono alkyl ester combustible liquid fuel derived from vegetable oil or animal fat which meets the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) specification D6751-02 for Biodiesel Fuel (B100) Blend Stock for Distillate Fuel.

Sec. 10.  23 V.S.A. § 3020a is added to read:

§ 3020a.  REBATE FOR BIODIESEL FUEL

Purchasers of biodiesel fuel, as defined in subdivision 3002(12) of this title, who paid tax of $0.25 per gallon of biodiesel fuel, and have not been provided with a credit or refund under section 3020 of this title, shall be entitled to a rebate of $0.02 per gallon of biodiesel fuel purchased.  A claim for a rebate may be made to the department of motor vehicles pursuant to rules adopted by the department, and shall include a receipt for the purchase on which the rebate is claimed.  Rebates shall be paid from the fees remitted to the state treasury by the department.

Sec. 11.  SUNSET

Secs. 9 and 10 of this act shall terminate on July 1, 2009.

Sec. 12.  EFFECTIVE DATE

Sec. 6 of this act shall take effect on September 1, 2007 and the remainder of the act shall take effect on July 1, 2007.



Published by:

The Vermont General Assembly
115 State Street
Montpelier, Vermont


www.leg.state.vt.us